Height is the height of an individual from head to toe. It is a complex trait influenced by genetic and environmental factors. It is a characteristic that shows great heterogeneity and can vary according to age, sex, geographic region or ethnicity.
Height is the distance measured from the heel to the top of the head. It is a highly variable trait depending on genetics and environment. In addition, the human species shows great sexual dimorphism at the anatomical level, with men being taller, on average, than women.
Currently, the average height of women is between 1.50-1.70 meters, while in men it varies between 1.62-1.83 meters. Adults with the greatest average height in the world are found in northern Europe, with an average of 1.80 in men and 1.70 in women.
It is estimated that the genetic component is responsible for 80% of the final height of an adult individual. However, certain factors, especially during the growth stage, can influence the final height, such as diet, certain diseases or the frequency of physical exercise. In addition, studies indicate that the mother's diet during pregnancy is also a factor associated with the trait. This has been evidenced throughout history, since the average height of populations has been very variable, with periods of increase and decrease, the latter coinciding with social and economic problems of the time (famines, wars, diseases, etc.).
During aging, a slight reduction in height may occur. This is due to a decrease in the height of the intervertebral discs, atrophy of the soft tissues, osteoporosis and/or postural changes associated with certain degenerative diseases.
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UK Biobank Database. Standing height, Data-Field 50 [Version Feb-2022]
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Jelenkovic A, et al. Genetic and environmental influences on height from infancy to early adulthood: An individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts. Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 23;6:28496.