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Letters to the Editor


10:50am, July 31, 2009

Making tall or short of it

In your article “The genetic dimension of height and health” (SN: 5/9/09, p. 22), some medical consequences of being either taller or shorter than the median height of the study group are explained. To help us all extrapolate these findings to our own lives, don’t you think it would have been helpful to state what the average heights for men and women are for the general population?
Candy Shedden, Boca Raton, Fla.

Including information about average height was considered, but after trying and failing to find a straightforward way to do it, we decided to leave it out. The “average height” for each study and each type of disease mentioned was different, since each study looked at distinct populations and used different methods. So, comparing your height with the average wouldn’t tell you much about your disease risk. But, to answer your question,

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