Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Height Affects How People Perceive Their Quality Of Life

Date:
October 18, 2007
Source:
Society for Endocrinology
Summary:
Your height in adult life significantly affects your quality of life, with short people reporting worse physical and mental health than people of normal height. This large, peer-reviewed study, shows that adult height is linked to how good a person thinks their health is. Short people judge their state of health to be significantly lower than their normal-height peers do.

Your height in adult life significantly affects your quality of life, with short people reporting worse physical and mental health than people of normal height. This large, peer reviewed study, which appears in Clinical Endocrinology, shows that adult height is linked to how good a person thinks their health is. Short people judge their state of health to be significantly lower than their normal height peers do.

The data for this study came from the 2003 Health Survey for England, carried out by the UK Department of Health. In this survey, participants filled out a health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaire and a nurse measured their height. Researchers, led by Senior Health Economist Torsten Christensen at Novo Nordisk A/S in Denmark, used this data to assess the relationship between height and HRQoL.

A person's health-related quality of life refers to their perceived physical and mental health over time. The questionnaire does not measure how good a person's health actually is; it measures how good a person thinks their health is. The questionnaire examined five areas of well-being: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. The researchers controlled the results in the study for the effects of other well-known indicators of HRQoL such as age, gender, body weight, long-standing illness and social class. In total, this study used the results from 14 416 respondents.

People in the shortest height category (men shorter than 162 cm and women shorter than 151 cm) reported they experience significantly lower HRQoL than people of normal height. Additionally, the shorter you are, the more pronounced this effect becomes. This means that a small increase in height has a much larger positive effect on a short person than it does on a person of normal height. The results predict that people who are of short stature could increase their HRQoL by 6.1% if their height was increased by 7 cm for men and 6 cm for women. This 6.1% difference in HRQoL is equivalent to the HRQoL benefits of losing 10-15 kg for an obese person (with a BMI greater than 30).

Short height in adult life can either be due to normal development or caused by a number of diseases such as growth hormone deficiency or Turner syndrome. Treatment with growth hormone to children with these conditions can increase their final adult height by approximately 4-10 cm depending on the underlying cause.

Previous studies have not clearly established the impact of this increase in height upon patients' HRQoL. The results from this study show that any small increase to the height of short people can have a large positive impact upon how good they perceive their health to be when adult. HRQoL data combine physiological, physical and social well-being into one outcome measure. The results from this study may also be useful for health economic assessments (such as those used by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) for calculating the benefits of treatments for short stature.

Researcher Torsten Christensen said: "We know that people who are short experience more difficulties in areas of their life such as education, employment and relationships than people of normal height. However, the relationship between height and psychosocial well-being is not well understood. Using this large and nationally representative sample of the UK population, we found shorter people report that they experience lower physical and mental well-being than taller people do. Our results also indicate that the shorter someone is, the stronger this relationship becomes. For example, an increase in height of 3 cm would have a positive impact on the health related quality of life of a short person, whereas the effect of an extra 3 cm would be negligible for a person of normal height.

Although our study does not show that short height directly causes a reduction in physical and mental health, it does indicate that short people are more likely to feel that they experience a lower health-related quality of life. However, further research is now needed to clarify the precise relationship between changes in height and health-related quality of life."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Endocrinology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Endocrinology. "Height Affects How People Perceive Their Quality Of Life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017205130.htm>.
Society for Endocrinology. (2007, October 18). Height Affects How People Perceive Their Quality Of Life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017205130.htm
Society for Endocrinology. "Height Affects How People Perceive Their Quality Of Life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017205130.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins