height and mortality in England

Doug Skrecky (oberon@vcn.bc.ca)
Tue, 26 May 1998 09:22:30 -0700 (PDT)

Barker DJ. Osmond C. Golding J.
MRC Environmental Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton,
General Hospital, UK.
Height and mortality in the counties of
England and Wales [see comments].
Comment in: Ann Hum Biol 1995 Jul-Aug;22(4):347-8
Annals of Human Biology. 17(1):1-6, 1990 Jan-Feb.
Average heights of adults and children in the counties of
England and Wales were examined using national samples of people born between
1920 and 1970. Although height increased over this 50-year
period the differences between counties persisted. Average
height in a county is closely related to its pattern of
death rates, which were derived from all deaths during 1968-78. Counties with
taller populations have lower mortality from chronic
bronchitis, rheumatic heart disease, ischaemic heart disease and stroke, and
higher mortality from three hormone-related cancers, of the
breast, prostate and ovary. The inverse relation of height
with bronchitis and cardiovascular disease is further evidence of risk
factors acting in early childhood. The positive relation between
height and cancers of the breast, ovary and prostate could
suggest that promotion of child growth has disadvantages as well as benefits.