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Good News for Short Guys

They may look up to their taller peers, but they live longer. A study in Hawaii found that the longevity gene, FOXO3, is more common in short men – those who are 5’2” or shorter – and that they lived the longest among the more than 8,000 American men of Japanese ancestry participating in the study. Researchers monitored the men’s health for nearly five decades and found that within the group, the taller the man, the shorter his lifespan. The gene in question results in a smaller body size, lower prevalence of cancer, lower blood insulin levels as well as longer life, the researchers reported. All the men in the study were born between 1900 and 1919 and 1,200 of them lived into their 90s and 100s; about 250 are still alive. The researchers noted that similar genes in mice, roundworms, flies and even yeast are also associated with longevity. They also reported that taller guys (and women) who don’t have the longevity gene can compensate for it with a healthy lifestyle.

Sources:
Bradley J. Wilcox et al “Shorter Men Live Longer: Association of Height with Longevity and FOXO3 Genotype in American Men of Japanese Ancestry,” PLOS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094385

How Would You Describe Your Weight? (Poll)

A recent Q&A discussed the effects of genes on weight: Do Your Genes Make You Fat? Check out the article and let us know how you would describe your current weight.