A century of worldwide trends in adult human height

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A worldwide study on the human height trend over the last 100 years*, to which Prof. Fred Paccaud, Dr. Pascal Bovet and Dr. Arnaud Chiolero, of the IUMSP, have contributed, reveals that Latvian women and Dutch men are the tallest; the four countries where the men are tallest being the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Latvia. And for women: Latvia, the Netherlands, Estonia and the Czech Republic.

The research has also shown that the largest gain in adult height over the past century has occurred in South Korean Women (mean 20.2 cm).and Iranian men (mean 16.5 cm).

Moreover, women born in Guatemala and men from East Timor were the shortest.

Even if genetic factors play a role, the height trend is influenced by nutrition and some environmental factors. Thus, better nourished children and adolescents, living in a more favourable environment, tend to be taller.

* From 1914 to 2014

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IUMSP | www.iumsp.ch
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 | dess.info@unisante.ch

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