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How boys grow determine how long they live

How boys grow determine how long they live
How boys grow determine how long they live
Objectives:
Increase in height in modern societies has been accompanied by an in increase in lifespan. The longer lives of taller people suggest that good nutrition during childhood, together with freedom from recurrent minor infection, prolong human life. There is, however, a caveat. Tall adult stature may be the result of rapid “compensatory” growth following a setback. Compensatory growth is known to reduce the lifespan of animals, possibly because it is disorganized.
Methods:
We analyzed lifespan among 6,975 men born in Helsinki, Finland, during 1934–44. Their early growth was recorded.
Results:
Boys who were tallest at seven years of age had lower all cause mortality, the hazard ratio being 0.79(95%CI 0.70 to 0.89, P < 0.0001) per 10 cm increase in height. There was, however, a group of boys among whom being tall was associated with increased all cause mortality, the hazard ratio being 1.32(1.00 to 1.75, P = 0.05). These boys were taller at seven years than their birthweight and length at birth predicted. After they were excluded from the analysis, boys who were more than 126 cm in height at seven lived for eight years longer than those who were 114 cm or less. This increase in lifespan was similar to the effect of high socio-economic status in adult life.
Conclusions:
Rapid growth in childhood height usually predicts a longer life. But tallness among men may be a misleading indicator of wellbeing and longer life expectancy in populations where compensatory growth is widespread. African Americans may be an example.
1042-0533
412-416
Barker, David J.P
6b6fc5c4-d84f-40f3-86c8-bbf3c446921e
Kajantie, Eero
d68d55b6-6df1-4195-a914-44c738a6db93
Osmond, Clive
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Thornburg, Kent L.
49e1e87d-82d6-41f3-894e-ece7a5a19651
Eriksson, Johan G.
e95e6451-67bb-4338-803e-7af310a920ac
Barker, David J.P
6b6fc5c4-d84f-40f3-86c8-bbf3c446921e
Kajantie, Eero
d68d55b6-6df1-4195-a914-44c738a6db93
Osmond, Clive
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Thornburg, Kent L.
49e1e87d-82d6-41f3-894e-ece7a5a19651
Eriksson, Johan G.
e95e6451-67bb-4338-803e-7af310a920ac

Barker, David J.P, Kajantie, Eero, Osmond, Clive, Thornburg, Kent L. and Eriksson, Johan G. (2011) How boys grow determine how long they live. American Journal of Human Biology, 23 (3), 412-416. (doi:10.1002/ajhb.21165). (PMID:21448906)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives:
Increase in height in modern societies has been accompanied by an in increase in lifespan. The longer lives of taller people suggest that good nutrition during childhood, together with freedom from recurrent minor infection, prolong human life. There is, however, a caveat. Tall adult stature may be the result of rapid “compensatory” growth following a setback. Compensatory growth is known to reduce the lifespan of animals, possibly because it is disorganized.
Methods:
We analyzed lifespan among 6,975 men born in Helsinki, Finland, during 1934–44. Their early growth was recorded.
Results:
Boys who were tallest at seven years of age had lower all cause mortality, the hazard ratio being 0.79(95%CI 0.70 to 0.89, P < 0.0001) per 10 cm increase in height. There was, however, a group of boys among whom being tall was associated with increased all cause mortality, the hazard ratio being 1.32(1.00 to 1.75, P = 0.05). These boys were taller at seven years than their birthweight and length at birth predicted. After they were excluded from the analysis, boys who were more than 126 cm in height at seven lived for eight years longer than those who were 114 cm or less. This increase in lifespan was similar to the effect of high socio-economic status in adult life.
Conclusions:
Rapid growth in childhood height usually predicts a longer life. But tallness among men may be a misleading indicator of wellbeing and longer life expectancy in populations where compensatory growth is widespread. African Americans may be an example.

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Published date: May 2011

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 184373
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/184373
ISSN: 1042-0533
PURE UUID: 7006392b-b4bb-4720-b7ba-9ce77441f90a
ORCID for Clive Osmond: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9054-4655

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Date deposited: 05 May 2011 14:15
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:04

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