Shorter men live longer

Shorter Men Live Longer: Association of Height with Longevity and FOXO3 Genotype in American Men of Japanese Ancestry. (ht: HBD Chick).


To determine the relation between height, FOXO3 genotype and age of death in humans.


Observational study of 8,003 American men of Japanese ancestry from the Honolulu Heart Program/Honolulu-Asia Aging Study (HHP/HAAS), a genetically and culturally homogeneous cohort followed for over 40 years….

A positive association was found between baseline height and all-cause mortality (RR = 1.007; 95% CI 1.003–1.011; P = 0.002) over the follow-up period. Adjustments for possible confounding variables reduced this association only slightly (RR = 1.006; 95% CI 1.002–1.010; P = 0.007). In addition, height was positively associated with all cancer mortality and mortality from cancer unrelated to smoking. … Comparison of genotypes of a longevity-associated single nucleotide polymorphism in FOXO3 showed that the longevity allele was inversely associated with height. This finding was consistent with prior findings in model organisms of aging. Height was also positively associated with fasting blood insulin level, a risk factor for mortality….


Height in mid-life is positively associated with mortality, with shorter stature predicting longer lifespan. Height was, moreover, associated with fasting insulin level and the longevity genotype of FOXO3, consistent with a mechanistic role for the IIS pathway.

Basically this fits everything we have discovered about the causes of aging. In C. elegans, mutations in insulin signaling cause longer life, as does absence of glucose in diet, as well as calorie restriction. All of these affect insulin levels and/or signaling, cause lower growth, and increased lifespan. It appears with the above study that the effect occurs in humans too. Anything that promotes growth will also promote faster aging and lower lifespan.

Keeping fasting insulin levels low ought to be one lesson here for those desiring a longer life. (Most of you, I presume.) Best way to do this is through a low-carbohydrate diet and regular, vigorous exercise.


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