A dramatic loss in height can be an indicator of serious health concerns such as hip fractures, spinal fractures and even heart disease, particularly in men, several recent studies have found.
However, height loss is a natural part of aging and nothing to worry about and some people may start losing around half an inch in height as early as 30.
AdvertisementA study released last week by Dr Marian Hannan, from Hebrew Senior Life - an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, found men over 70 who lost at least two inches in two years have a 54 per cent higher risk of fracturing a hip over the following two years than their peers.
"Recent height loss in both elderly men and women appears to provide a simple indication of who's at risk for hip fracture," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Hannan as saying.
Meanwhile osteoporosis was associated with more severe height loss - generally four inches according to researchers at the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London.
Staying as active as possible, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet with good levels of calcium and vitamin D are all ways to slow down the decline in height, say scientists.
However, your genetic make-up will always play a part in how much you shrink.
The study has been published in Archives of Internal Medicine.