U.S. News


Shorter Men Might Live Longer Than Taller Counterparts

A team of scientists in Hawaii who have been conducting an aging study for nearly 50 years say shorter men live longer than taller men.
Posted at 3:28 PM, May 12, 2014

OK, so we've all heard what the stereotypical perfect man looks like.

You know ... tall, dark and handsome? (Via 20th Century Fox)

Well, maybe that stereotype will change — because a new study revealed shorter men might live longer than taller guys.

Hawaii News Now reports height matters and says a team of Hawaii researchers conducted the largest, longest, most thorough aging study yet to learn more about it. 

"The folks that were 5'2" and shorter lived the longest. They also have vastly lower insulin levels; they get less cancer."

"Everybody is born with so many cells, and if you're bigger you have more cells, so you have to grow more." 

Called the Honolulu Heart Study, this is the first study that confirms body size is linked to what has been dubbed the "longevity gene." It is technically called FOX03.

In the ongoing study, which has been underway for nearly 50 years, more than 8,000 men with Japanese ancestry underwent a series of tests. The shorter men outlived their taller counterparts, and today, around 250 of them are still alive. (Via Honolulu Heart Study)

Scientists think shorter people have a reserve of cells that can be used later in life, which could be part of the reason for the longer life span. Shorter men also carried a more enhanced form of the longevity gene.

But, as Slate's headline points out, don't hold your breath. Science is a long way from helping us cheat death.

"The bigger-picture problem is that human longevity is a confluence of so many factors—genes, nutrition, lifestyle, luck—interacting in so many complex ways that there is unlikely ever to be a surefire way to live to 120."

But just in case — certain foods have been said to stimulate that longevity gene we mentioned, including turmeric, green tea, beer and wine ... in moderation, of course.