Does being short make you less clever?
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London - They are already cursed with the rather unflattering label of being “vertically challenged”.
Now experts say short people may be intellectually challenged too - or at least in comparison to their taller counterparts.
A study has identified genes that influence both height and IQ, with a “significant genetic correlation” between the two suggesting those who are shorter are more likely to be less intelligent.
The research – which examined the powers of recall, linguistic ability and reaction times of more than 6 800 unrelated people – is the first to analyse DNA markers in such a way.
Riccardo Marioni, from Edinburgh University’s Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, said the link was small but important.
He said: “Previous studies have used twin or family data to examine similarities between height and intelligence, whereas ours was the first to use actual DNA markers in unrelated people.
“What we found was a small association between height and intelligence in that people who are taller tend to be smarter.”
In a paper submitted to Behavior Genetics journal, he explained that about 70 percent of the link is due to genetics and the rest is down to environmental influences.
The claim is likely to be disputed by millions in Britain who fall short of the average height, which is 5ft 3in for women and 5ft 9in for men.
One is certain to be John Bercow, British Speaker of the House of Commons, who at 5ft 5ins is dwarfed by his 5ft 11in wife, Sally.
But among those who appear to prove the theory is David Cameron, who is 6ft 1in has both height and intelligence.
- Daily Mail