Height and survival at older ages among men born in an inland village in Sardinia (Italy), 1866-2006

Biodemography Soc Biol. 2012;58(1):1-13. doi: 10.1080/19485565.2012.666118.


This study investigated the relationship between individual height and survival at older ages among conscripts born between 1866 and 1915 in an inland village of Sardinia, Italy. Individual age at death was related to military height measurement at age 20. Differential longevity of conscripts at older ages was investigated through the comparison of age-specific mortality rates and life expectancy estimates. Results indicated that short conscripts (<161.1 cm) generally had higher survival rates than their tall peers (≥ 161.1 cm). At 70 years of age, tall peers were expected to live two years less than short conscripts. Biological mechanisms were examined in relation to the greater longevity of shorter people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Height*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Longevity*
  • Male