Recent progress in the study of the genetics of height

Hum Genet. 2011 May;129(5):465-72. doi: 10.1007/s00439-011-0969-x. Epub 2011 Feb 22.


Adult height is a classic polygenic trait of high narrow-sense heritability (h (2) = 0.8). In the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, variation in adult height was used as a model to set the foundation of the fields of statistics and quantitative genetics. More recently, with our increasing knowledge concerning the extent of genetic variation in the human genome, human geneticists have used genome-wide association studies to identify hundreds of loci robustly associated with adult height, providing new insights into human growth and development, and into the architecture of complex human traits. In this review, I highlight the progress made in the last 2 years in understanding how genetic variation controls height variation in humans, including non-Caucasian populations and children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Height / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome, Human
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • RNA-Binding Proteins


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • LIN28B protein, human
  • RNA-Binding Proteins