Relation between height and longevity has always remained a debatable issue. There are evidences in support of both the views. According to the World Health Organization, average life span of Japanese women is 86 years. Their average height at the age of seventy five is 149.54 cm (4.9 ft.). This shows that people with short height live longer. Contrary findings are observed in US. In 1982 the average life span of man was 39 years and at present it has increased to 75 years of age. Average height of present US man is greater than their ancestors. Researchers have noticed that people in prosperous times have longer height that people in stress full ages such as mass unemployment.
Greater longevity of shorter people was addressed in an article published in Bulletin of the World Health Organization, since then debate is on. Recent researches have shown that taller people had 20 to 60 percent higher incidence of cancer. In addition, breast, testicular, and prostate cancer studies have also shown similar results. Another striking feature in support of this view is that life expectancy of men is low than that of women. Women live 7.9% longer than men, but men are 8% taller that women.
Based on laws of physics, shorter person with the same body proportion as taller person has many physical advantages. Shorter people have faster reaction time, strong muscles and on falling they are less likely to break their bones.
Even though, there are many researches in support of longevity of short people but their short height does not give them immunity against cancer or any other disease. Irrespective of the height, other factors such as diet, environmental factors, depression and stress can lead to critical health problem.
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