Shorter Men Live Longer

Tall men have a lot going for them. They get paid more, women find them more attractive, and they tend to win US presidential elections. There is one area, however, where tall men lose: mortality. The taller you are, the sooner you’re likely to die.

That’s the gist of a study published in PLOS One. In fact, not only are shorter men likely to live longer, they are likely to have lower blood insulin and less cancer. The study followed 8,000 men born between 1900 and 1919, starting in 1965. In fact, 120 are still alive today—nearly all of them under 5’2”.

On a very simple level, a shorter man has fewer cells and therefore less cancer. On a more complicated level, taller (and bigger) people produce more growth hormone, causing cells to replicated at a higher rate. As cells are limited in the number of times they can replicated, these people tend to see errors more frequently or earlier.

Of course, there’s not much you can do about your height. That said, if you’re on the taller side, maybe you want to take that prostate exam a little more seriously.

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