International Data Demonstrating the Inverse Height and Life Expectancy Between the Sexes
Height and life expectancy
Many papers have provided reasons for why women live longer than men. These include XX vs. XY chromosomes, sex hormones, and better care of their health. These factors certainly can affect male and female health but none has been proven to explain the actual difference that exists in life expectancy between the sexes. Another controversial factor commonly ignored is the size difference between men and women, but past research has shown that differences in male and female height and associated life expectancy are related by similar but inverse percentages (such as 8% taller and 9% shorter life expectancy). This paper provides additional evidence that supports early findings that shorter height is a major factor in explaining why women live longer. To test the inverse relationship between height and life expectancy, a list of developed countries was used to compare height and life expectancy differences between men and women. The results showed men were 7.8% taller and had an 8.5% lower life expectancy. These results are similar to previous study findings in 1992, 2003, and 2009. They are also consistent with scores of studies showing shorter or smaller body size is related to greater longevity independent of sex.
Madigan FC. (1957) Are sex mortality differentials biologically caused? Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly: 35(2): 202-223.
Gavrilova N & Gavrilov LA (2002) Can exceptional longevity be predicted? Contingencies: 82-8.
Miller RA, Harper JM, Galecki A, Burket DT. (2002) Big mice die young: early life body weight predicts longevity in genetically heterogeneous mice. Aging Cell:1:22-29.
Patronek GJ, Waters DJ, Glickman LT. (1997) Comparative longevity of pet dogs and humans: implications for gerontology research. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci: 52 (3): B171-B178.
Greer KA, Canterberry SC, Murphy KE. (2007) Statistical analysis regarding the effects of height and weight on life span of the domestic dog. Res. Vet. Sci: 82: 208–214.
Rollo CD, Carlson J, Sawada M. (1996) Accelerated aging of giant transgenic mice is associated with elevated free radical processes. Can J Zool: 74: 606-620.
Promislow DEL. (1992) Costs of sexual selection in natural populations of mammals. Proc R Soc Lond B: 247: 203-210.
Moore SL & Wilson K. (2002) Parasites as a viability cost of sexual selection in natural populations of mammals. Science: 297: 2015-2018.
Ringsby TH, Jensen H, Pam H, Kvalnes T, Boner W, Gillespie R. et al. (2015) On being the right size: increased body size is associated with reduced telomere length under natural conditions. Proc Biol Sci: 282(1820): 20152331. Doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2331
Barrett ELB, Burke TA, Komdeur J, Richardson DS. (2013) Telomere length and dynamics predict mortality in a wild longitudinal study. Mol Ecol: 22: 22:249-259. Doi:10.1111/mec.12110
Bartke A. (2012) Healthy aging: is smaller better? A min-review. Gerontology: 58(4): 337-343. Doi: 10.1159/000335166
Samaras TT. (ed). (2007) Human Body Size and the Laws of Scaling. Nova Science Publishers, NY; pp 17-31; 113-146.
Samaras TT & Storms LH. (1992) Impact of height and weight on life span. Bull World Health Organ: 70(2): 259-267.
Holzenberger M, Martin-Crespo D, Vicent MR, Ruisz-Torres A. (1991) Decelerated growth and longevity in men. Arch Gerontol Geriatr: 13:89–101.
Mueller U & Mazur A. (2009) Tallness comes with higher mortality in two cohorts of US army officers. Population Association of America Meeting. 2009.
Samaras TT. (2009) Should we be concerned over increasing body height and weight? Exp Geront. 44:83-92.
Samaras TT, Elrick H, Storms LH. (2003) Is height related to longevity? Life Sciences: 1781-1802.
Salaris L, Poulain M, Samaras TT. (2012) Height and survival at older ages among men born in an inland village in Sardinia (Italy), 1866-2006. Biodemography Soc Biol: 58:1, 1-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19485565.2012.666118
He Q, Morris BM, Grove J S, et al. (2014) Shorter men live longer: Association of height with longevity and FOXO3 genotype in American men of Japanese ancestry. PLoS ONE: 9(5); e94385. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094385
Miller D. (1990) Economies of scale. Challenge. May-June. 58-61.
Lemez S, Wattie N, Baker J. (2017) Do "big guys" really die younger? An examination of height and lifespan `in former professional basketball players. PLoS ONE: 12 (10): e0185617. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185617
Sohn K. (2016) Now, the taller die earlier: The curse of cancer. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci: 71(6): 713-719.
Shapiro BB, Steja E, Rave VA, Kopplew JD. (2015) Association of height with mortality in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol: 10:965-974. doi: 10.2215/CJN.07870814
Elsayed ME, Ferguson JP, Stack AG. (2015) Association of height with elevated mortality risk in ESRD: Variation by race and gender. J Am Soc Nephrol: 27. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2014080821
Poulain M, Pes G, Salaris L. (2011) A population where men live as long as women: Villagrande Strisaili, Sardinia. J Aging Res: Article ID 153756, 10 pages. Doi:4061/2011/153756
Chmielewski P. (2016) The relationship between adult stature and longevity. Tall men are unlikely to outlive their short peers—evidence from a study of all adult deaths in Poland in the years 2004-2008. Anthropol Rev: 70:439-460.
Chan Y-C, Suzuki, M, Yamamoto S. (1999) A comparison of anthropometry, biochemical variables and plasma amino acids among centenarians, elderly and young subjects. J Am Coll Nutr: 18(4): 358-365.
Maier AB, van Heemst D, Westendorp RGJ. (2008) Relation between body height and replicative capacity of human fibroblasts in nonagenarians. J Geron Series A: 53: 1, 43-45. Doi.org/10.1093/gerona/63.1.43
van Heemst D, Beekman M, Mooijaart SP, Bastiaan T, et al. (2005) Reduced insulin/IGF-1 signalling and human longevity. Aging Cell: 4: 79-85.
Samaras TT. (2017) Biological parameters explain why shorter or smaller people have lower cardiovascular disease and greater longevity. JSRR: 16(1): 1-16. DOI: 10.9734/JSRR/2017/34/34729
Samaras TT. (2014) Evidence from eight different types of studies showing that smaller body size is related to greater longevity. JSRR: 3(16): 2150-2160; Article no. 2014.16.003.
Austad SN. (2006) Why women live longer than men: sex differences in longevity. Gender Medicine: 3(2),79-92.
Stindle R. (2004) Tying it all together: telomeres, sexual size dimorphism and the gender gap in life expectancy. Med Hyp: 62:151-154.
The World Factbook List of Developed Countries. Wikipedia. 26 May 2018
List of Average Human Height Worldwide, Wikipedia, edited 17 June, 2018.
Timonin S, Shkolnikov VM, Jasilionis D, Grigoriev P, Jdanov DA, Leon D (2016) A. Disparities in length of life across developed countries: measuring and decomposing changes over time within and between country groups. Popul Health Metr: 14:29 doi: 10.1186/s12963-016-00940
The World Bank, Life expectancy at birth, total (years). 2018.
List of countries by life expectancy-Wikipedia, June 17, 2018.
De Luca M, Crocco P, De Rango F, Passarino G, Rose G. (2016) Association of the Laminin, Alpha 5 (LAMA5) rs4925386 with height and longevity in an elderly population from Southern Italy. Mech Ageing Dev: 155: 55–59.
Giovannelli L, Saieva C, Masala G, Testa G, Salvini S, et al. (2002) Nutritional and lifestyle determinants of DNA oxidative damage: a study in a Mediterranean population. Carcinogenesis: 23 (9)/ 1483-1489.
Brown-Borg HM, Borg KE, Bartke, A. (1996) Dwarf mice and the ageing process. Nature: Nov. 7; 384(6604):33.
Singhal A. (2017) Long-term adverse effects of early growth acceleration or catch-up growth. Ann Nutr Metab: 70(3): 236-240. Doi: 10: 10.1159/000464302. Epub 2017 Mar 17.
Davey Smith G, Hart C, Blane D, Gillis C, Hawthorne V. (1997) Lifetime socioeconomic position and mortality: prospective observational study. BMJ: 314: 547-552.
Cohen D & Sturm R. (2008) Body mass index is increasing faster among taller persons. Am J Clin Nutr: 87:445-448.
Campbell TC & Campbell TM. (2006) The China Study. Oxford University Press, NY. p 102.
Cameron N &
Demerath EW. (2002) Critical periods in human growth and their relationship to diseases of aging. Yrbk Phys Anthropol: 45: 159-184.
Lorenzini L. (2014) How much should we weigh for a long and healthy life span? The need to reconcile caloric restriction versus longevity with body mass index versus mortality data. Frontiers in Endocrinology: 5: 1-8. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2014.00121
Samaras TT. (2015) Health risks of higher birth weight, rapid growth, early maturation and taller height. Women’s Health Bulletin: July; 2(3):e26805
Carrera-Bastos P, Fontes-Villalba M, O’Keefe JH. Lindeberg S, Cordain L. (2011) The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization. Research Reports in Clinical Cardiology: 2: 15-35.
Copyright (c) 2019 Thomas Theodore Samaras, Stephen M Marson, John Porter Lillis
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors retain the copyright of their manuscripts, and all Open Access articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.
SOCIALSCI JOURNAL allow the author(s) to retain publishing rights without restrictions.
This Journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.