Apparently, size really does matter. According to a new study from Britain, shorter people are more likely to report poor physical and mental health compared to those who are taller.
The study, published in the journal of Clinical Endocrinology, looked at nearly 15,000 people, using data from a 2003 Health Survey for England.
The survey included a quality of life questionnaire, which asked the height of participants. The survey measured five areas of well-being: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain and depression. The researchers, based in Denmark, found that people in the shortest category came out with considerably lower scores than people of a "normal" height.
“We know that people who are short experience more difficulties in areas of their life such as education, employment and relationships than people of normal height," researcher Torsten Christensen said in a news release.
"However, the relationship between height and psychosocial well-being is not well understood. Using this large and nationally representative sample of the U.K. population, we found shorter people report that they experience lower physical and mental well-being than taller people do. Our results also indicate that the shorter someone is, the stronger this relationship becomes."
Being short as an adult can either be due to normal development or caused by a number of diseases such as a growth hormone deficiency. Treating children with this condition with a growth hormone can boost their final adult height by approximately 1 to 4 inches, depending on the underlying cause, the researchers said. This could have a large positive impact upon how they perceive their health when they are adults.
"Although our study does not show that short height directly causes a reduction in physical and mental health, it does indicate that short people are more likely to feel that they experience a lower health-related quality of life," said Christensen, adding that more study is needed.