Being 6 Feet and 5 Inches in Height, I Don't Think that This Research Is Particularly Good News.


Randy Newman satirically sang: "Short people got no reason to live." According to new research, (some) short people may have the last laugh. It turns out that a particular mutation that decreases the activity of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), results in short stature, but longer life. U.S. News reports:

"We found that people of a hundred years old have mutations in a gene that is related to the growth hormone pathway," said lead researcher Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "We think this is important, because that's what now happens in nature. The pony lives longer than the horse, the small dog lives longer than a large dog. Apparently, it's true for humans also."

Interestingly, this particular mutation has been found mostly among women, he added.

It might be possible, given these findings, to develop drugs that can prevent aging and age-related disease, Barzilai noted. "There are drugs being developed to decrease growth hormone in patients with tumors, because sometimes cancer is dependent on growth hormones," he said. "Maybe we can adopt the strategy to slow aging."

Tinkering with similar hormonal pathways in other organisms has also resulted in significantly lengthened lives.

For the published study go to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences here.

Disclosure: Some of my best friends are short. No, really. 

NEXT: It's Rush Wot Won It

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  1. I’m not quite 5’6″. Baby, remember my name!

  2. Trust me, for short people like me even a short life seems long.

  3. Note that most evil people in history were short. Short = evil; tall = good.

  4. Didn’t somebody recently post a piece on how tall people were smarter and richer?

    BTW, I used to live with this blond chick that was about five zero and she DETESTED Randy Newman for that song. She was a closet drinker too. And, you did not want to get her drunk in public because she’d be under the table doing things you could get arrested for.

    Not making that up and, as great as it sounds, it isn’t.

  5. tall = good.

    Like, Thomas Jefferson. Wait, How tall is GWB? Or for that matter, how tall is Bill Clinton?

  6. Being 6 Feet and 5 Inches in Height

    Well, Ron, if I’ve ever posted anything here to offend you, I, uh, take it back…..

  7. TWC: if I remember correctly that discussion devolved into a rather hilarious argument over which phenotype dictated a predisposition toward criminal activity.

  8. TWC,

    Short = probably evil; tall = less evil.

  9. I dunno Pro, my mother was short too. She was a straight razor totin’ woman. Meaner than a week old cat box.

    Like Cosby says, the kid’s grandma is not the same woman who raised me.

  10. The Coz was dead on about that one, though neither of my parents was in the evil category. Of course, they are both tall, like their equally goodly boys ?

  11. does this mean that taking HGH shortens lifespan?

  12. 6 Feet and 5 Inches in Height

    More proof of global warming: heat makes stuff expand.

    We short folk also require less food and other resources, emit less CO2 into the air, pollute less water when we bathe, and are less likely to contribute to overcrowding conditions. Our cars get better gas mileage because we don’t have enormous heavy asses to haul around. Our posture is better because we don’t need to make our legs all cramped and bendy when we doze on the sofa. And when our faces do break out, the zits are generally smaller.

  13. I’m sure you’ll change your mind about this one too, right, Ron?

  14. I thought libertarians won’t change their minds about anything until Kerry Howley has kids.

    Or so said Dan T.

  15. Hah, 6’6″ here. I emit more CO2, eat more food, and have to buy ridiculously large automobiles to haul my heavy but around (Actually drive a TDI Jetta, 44 mpg lifetime average). I learned not to nap on a couch, as it makes my knees hurt and my bed is just around the corner.

    I disagree about the overcrowding though. I am stacked deeper, not wider.

  16. Ramsey, you’re just sleeping on the wrong sofas. I just bought an 80 incher and it has changed the way I doze.

    In regards to living longer shorter: You can live to be a hundred if you take away everything thats makes it worth doing.

  17. I remember that Sidney Goldberg wrote an article about the wonders that would come if we genetically engineered people to be half their current height: food would last longer, every current home would be the size of a mansion or work as a duplex, full employment from refitting everything, etc.

  18. I remember that Sidney Goldberg wrote an article about the wonders that would come if we genetically engineered people to be half their current height.

    Betcha it couldn’t be done without the unfortunate side effect of making everyone grow copious facial hair, have a compulsion to live underground, and carry a wide assortment of edged weapons.

  19. Since chicks in general tend to prefer guys that are taller than them, short = bad.

    Sorry short dudes, but that’s the way it is.

  20. R C-

    Yeah, but we’d be +4 against goblins, orcs, and trolls!

  21. I guess this means humans are counterevolutionary. Short people live longer, but humans get taller in each generation. I wonder if that’s what made the dinosaurs extinct…

  22. I guess this means humans are counterevolutionary.

    No evolution requires tall people to make more babies than short people to produce taller populations, tall people do not need to live longer.

  23. Good news Ron !! At age 30 I was 6’5″. Now at 70 I’m 6′ 3 1/2″ You see, as we get older and shorter we live longer. When I’m joe’s height I’ll be about 150. Don’t despair!! Sorry I can’t comment on the chick response. Somehow it never seemed to make much difference, either to me or to them.

  24. Chicks only prefer taller guys because slow dancing with a guy shorter than them can be misconstrued as breastfeeding in public.

  25. A guy 5’2″ marries a gal 6’8″. Upon returning from their honeymoon, one of the guy’s friends pokes him in the ribs and asks how the sex was. Short guy says sex is great, but there’s no one to talk to.

  26. Still not going 2 stop me from wearing lifts inner-soles and high heals.

    Hieight is everything

  27. U R right Episiarch |

    Height is everything

  28. Ron Bailey is just shilling for Big Tall

    or perhaps the line of clothing stores, “Big & Tall”

    I especially liked the non-sequitur disclosure

  29. Maybe they are onto something with engineering humans to be smaller and smaller. I bet that China would take it to an extreme, eventually producing people so small that they are microscopic and the rest of the world thinking that they disappeared. At about the same time some sort of virulent plague might form, some sort of lung disease


  30. GILMORE,

    Confess! You’ve got a disclosure fetish.

  31. why asians have longer life spans?

  32. Charles,
    I am intrigued by your idea. Rather than expanding the food supply and living space, let’s get shorter. The down side is that we would need to be thinner, also, unless you like the stumpy chicks.

  33. ’cause of our huge brains

  34. Bingo | March 5, 2008, 12:17pm | #
    TWC: if I remember correctly that discussion devolved into a rather hilarious argument over which phenotype dictated a predisposition toward criminal activity.

    That would be the mesomorphs.

    Endomorphs are pure good.

    Ectomorphs are sneaky and power hungry…

    Endomorphs Unite.

    This study proves our superiority…

  35. Pro Libertate | March 5, 2008, 3:43pm | #

    Confess! You’ve got a disclosure fetish


    Are you kidding? I’ve put ads in the paper about my Disclosure Jones. I send text messages to Ron asking him, “Please, PLEASE.. just a little bit longer this time…”

    That time he wrote a 4 page disclosure longer than the post itself, where it devolved into him confessing childhood indiscretions and a secret love for prunes? Dear god, I wet myself and couldnt walk straight for a week!

    Aint no shame in my game. some people like to dress up like furry animals and hump! THATS fucked up. I speak for disclosureists everywhere. We are just like you, and we are proud of who we are. Take your “normal” and let us live our lives!!

  36. * The previous post was not intended to promote disclosing of any kind. The previouth potht wath not intended to promote disrobing of any kind. Lower, lower, lower… lower. Now higher.

  37. So you’re tall. Big whoop! Wanna fight about it?!

  38. no really now, thats weird, people mocking me being funny mocking myself. Now i feel dirty. Now i feel good about the dirty feeling. Oh fuck, now i feed guilty about the… ah crap, i got it all confused now. You guys ruined my whole thing.

    To make up for it all, perhaps you should all enjoy the incredible fetish-baiting (baitin?) skillz of the one and only… BloodNinja =

    some of the funniest shit *evaaaa*

  39. ah crap, that link is dead now.
    here’s one

  40. ah, the full goodness

    Sorry, Ron, for turning a perfectly legitimate post about…tall people or something into a digression on fetishism and bad humour

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