A century of trends in adult human height

NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), Pooled Analysis and Writing, Country and Regional Data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Being taller is associated with enhanced longevity, and higher education and earnings. We reanalysed 1472 population-based studies, with measurement of height on more than 18.6 million participants to estimate mean height for people born between 1896 and 1996 in 200 countries. The largest gain in adult height over the past century has occurred in South Korean women and Iranian men, who became 20.2 cm (95% credible interval 17.5–22.7) and 16.5 cm (13.3– 19.7) taller, respectively. In contrast, there was little change in adult height in some sub-Saharan African countries and in South Asia over the century of analysis. The tallest people over these 100 years are men born in the Netherlands in the last quarter of 20th century, whose average heights surpassed 182.5 cm, and the shortest were women born in Guatemala in 1896 (140.3 cm; 135.8– 144.8). The height differential between the tallest and shortest populations was 19-20 cm a century ago, and has remained the same for women and increased for men a century later despite substantial changes in the ranking of countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13410
JournaleLife
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
Wellcome Trust
Grand Challenges Canada
South African Medical Research Council
Fatima Zahra Laamiri
Lietuvos Sveikatos Mokslų Universitetas
Universität Heidelberg
Konrad Jamrozik (University of Adelaide
Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services
Efthymios Kapantais
All-India Institute of Medical Sciences
Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos
Muhammad Islam
Sla-womir Koziel
Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Czech Republic
Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam
North-West University
Jost B Jonas
Guangzhou 12th Hospital
Sirkka Keinänen-Kiukaan-niemi
National Institute for Nutrition and Health
Ofra Kalter-Leibovici
Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center
Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, Israel
Ulsan University Hospital
Maryam Kavousi
Sahlgrenska Akademin
Universiteit Gent
Bacha Khan University
Seppo Koskinen
Hellenic Medical Association for Obesity
Yousef Saleh Khader
Israel Center for Disease Control, Israel
Tiina Laatikainen
Pawel Kurjata
University of Crete
Niigata University
Ministerio de Salud Pública
Ilse MSL Khouw
Lital Keinan Boker
Higher Institute of Nursing Professions and Technical Health
Jordan University of Science and Technology
Yadlapalli S Kusuma
IRCCS Isti-tuto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed
National Institutes of Health
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences
Univerza v Ljubljani
Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet
Children’s Memorial Health Institute
Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum
Licia Iacoviello
National Institute of Epidemiology
Norges Idrettshøgskole
Kindai University Faculty of Medicine
Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
National Institute of Nutrition
Jurate Klumbiene
Bagher Larijani
Centre International de Recherche sur le Cancer
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
American University of Beirut
World Health Organization
Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lodzi
Medizinische Universität Innsbruck
Rudolf Kaaks
Katsuyasu Kouda
Jeannette Klimont
Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Ruzena Kubinova
Istanbul Üniversitesi
Illinois Department of Public Health
Janina Petkeviciene
Universität Ulm
Federal Ministry of Health, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Elena Pahomova
Lietuvos Sveikatos Mokslų Universitetas
Puerto Rico
Markku Peltonen
Universität Heidelberg
Memorial Institute of Public Health
Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia
Madras Diabetes Research Foundation
Harunobu Nakamura (Kobe University
Pan American Health Organization
Hannelore K Neuhauser
British Institute of Persian Studies
Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos
Queen's University Belfast
Kyushu University
Suraj Eye Institute
Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam
Sania Nishtar
University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos
National Research Council
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Alexander Technological Educational Institute
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Universidad de Puerto Rico
University of Bari
Songhomitra Panda-Jonas
Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health
Robert Koch Institute
Kamarul Imran Musa
Vinay B Nangia
Latvijas Universitate
Teresa Norat
West Virginia University
Quang Ngoc Nguyen
University of Otago
Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services
National University of Singapore
Tartu University Clinics
School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation Rene Rachou Research Institute
Margus Punab
Ministry of Health
Eva Maria Navarrete-Muñoz
Toshiharu Ninomiya
Medical Research Council
Marianna Noale
Mangesh S Pedne-kar
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Trường Đại học Y Hà Nội
Clive Osmond
Mohannad Al Nsour (Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network
Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum
Aleksandra Piwonska
University of New South Wales
Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology
Itä-Suomen Yliopisto
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques
Merete Osler
Ellis Owusu-Dabo
National Food and Nutrition Institute
Alborz University of Medical Sciences
Fudan University
University Medical Center Utrecht
National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene, Poland
Medizinische Universität Wien
Giovanni Veronesi
University of Sydney
Ministry of Health, New Zealand
Institut de recherche pour le développement
Yingfeng Zheng (Singapore Eye Research Institute
Swansea University
Félicité Tchibindat
Koen Van Herck
Universitetet i Tromsø
Università di Bologna
Kailuan General Hospital
Xinjiang Medical University
University of Auckland
Lechaba Tshepo
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Hadassah University Medical Center
Vincenzo Solfrizzi
Bogdan Wojtyniak
Universidade do Porto
Lars Vatten
Medizinische Universität Innsbruck
Doris Stöckl
Mohammed Rasoul Tarawneh
University of Bari
Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan
Beijing Anzhen Hospital
Universiteit Gent
Danish Cancer Society Research Center
Uppsala Universitet
KU Leuven
Centro di Preven-zione Cardiovascolare Udine
University of the Philippines
National University of Singapore
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny
Health Polytechnics Institute
Inner Mongolia Medical University
Aicha Soumare
Université de Bordeaux
Univerza v Ljubljani
Università degli Studi di Padova
Norges Idrettshøgskole
Syddansk Universitet
National Institutes of Health
Julio Zuñiga Cisneros
Sefako Makgatho Health Science University
WM Monique Verschuren
Beijing Tongren Hospital
Inyuvesi Yakwazulu-Natali
Jesus Vioque
Itä-Suomen Yliopisto
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
National Food and Nutrition Institute
Institut Régional de Santé Publi-que
Hannu MT Uusitalo
Consejería de Sanidad Junta de Castilla y León, Spain
Peking University
Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi
Damaskini Valvi
Lietuvos Sveikatos Mokslų Universitetas
University of Manchester
University of London
Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Universitas Indonesia
Marshall K Tulloch-Reid
Università degli Studi dell'Insubria
Jostein Steene-Johannessen
Eira Viikari-Juntura
Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos
Gdański Uniwersytet Medyczny
Mari-Liis Tammesoo
University College Cork
Universität Zürich
Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China
Institute of Food and Nutrition Development of Ministry of Agriculture, China
Jordi Sunyer
Roosmarijn Verstraeten
Hellenic Health Foundation
Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi
Frederiksberg Hospitals
IB-SALUT Area de Salut de Menorca
UNICEF
Niigata University
Capital Medical University
ISGlobal Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology
National Heart Foundation of Australia
Tartu Ülikool
Karolinska Institutet
Ministry of Health
University of Adelaide
Tampereen Yliopisto
Carolina B Tarqui-Mamani
Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet
Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum
Gorgas Memorial Institute of Public Health
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Medizinische Universität Innsbruck
Abdonas Tamosiunas
Københavns Universitet

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