Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Research from the University of Helsinki shows that adult human height has not been significantly affected through genetics or environmental factors.
An international team of researchers analyzed the impact genetics and environmental factors have on height by studying 40 twin cohorts consisting of 143,000 sets of twins from 20 countries
The study looked at data from more than a century of birth cohorts between 1886 and 1994 and found no obvious trend in height variation that could be explained by genetic differences.
Results showed that height variations due to genetic differences were greater in men than women, but environmental factors played a bigger role on height variation in women.
"Our results do not support the assumption that the heritability of height increases as the standard of living improves and extreme poverty is reduced," Aline Jelenkovic, a researcher from the University of Helsinki and co-author of the study, said in a press release. "This is to say that women's growth is not more resistant to environmental influences than that of men."
Fluctuations in adult human height are caused by individual genetic differences and environmental factors, though studies have shown roughly 80 percent is attributed to individual genetics.
Researchers have believed that environmental factors can impact genetics, as seen in the increase in mean height in many parts of the world in the 20th century based on improved standards of living.
"Even though mean height has increased over the 20th century as standards of living have improved, this is not reflected in the heritability of height," Jelenkovic said.
The study was published in eLife.