Why do people get shorter with age?

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ritchie longwango

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Why do people get shorter with age?
« on: 01/10/2010 18:30:02 »
ritchie longwango  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
hey! chris,

i would like to why do people become shorter when they grow older? and does that mean that short people will become shorter when they age?

from ritchie mata

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/10/2010 18:30:02 by _system »

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Offline RD

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Why do people get shorter with age?
« Reply #1 on: 01/10/2010 20:02:12 »
If you visit an old folk's home you'll notice that the residents in addition to being typically being short are typically lean.

However being old has not made them thin, being thin has enabled them to become old, (i.e. being fat causes premature death).

The same may be true of stature: taller people are at a higher risk of certain life-threatening illnesses ...

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A positive association was observed between height and risk of death from all cancers combined.
http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/168/5/497.full


[and/or osteoporosis, more common in elderly persons, can cause the spine to curve and result in a loss of height  ]
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The collapse of vertebrae leads to increased curvature of the spine and loss of height.
http://www.medinfo.co.uk/conditions/osteoporosis.html
« Last Edit: 01/10/2010 20:42:39 by RD »

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Offline Don_1

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Why do people get shorter with age?
« Reply #2 on: 02/10/2010 11:57:09 »
Isn't it odd, that as you get older you get shorter, yet when you bend to pick up something, the ground seems to further away than it used to be!
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