A study conducted by Crimmins and Finch showed the effect of childhood infections and inflammations on reduced height and risk of developing cardiovascular diseases .
They collected mortality data of individuals from four European countries- Sweden, France, England and Switzerland from different years but ending with individuals born in 1899. After that in 1900 modern medicine was an important factor in treating childhood illness.
The study showed that those who survived the childhood infection were shorter and had a high mortality rate when compared to individuals who did not suffer from childhood infections.
Childhood infections like respiratory diseases, diarrhea, dysentery and other common infectious diseases reduce the height of the individual.
On the other hand when there is a reduction in the infection rate the survivors grew taller and survived for a longer period of time and had reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Other factor such as nutrition and high standards of living does not contribute to the mortality data. The study also said that when there is improved nutrition and high income it did not contribute to increase in height. But sometimes there was reduction in height followed by increased income in early industrial sites.
This study was the extension of the previous study conducted by the same scientists the previous year. In conclusion they said that increased height is dependant on reduced infection and is independent of nutrition. This relationship is effective only when death from infection is high. When the childhood infection is reduced this relationship is no longer taken as a factor in explaining the old age trends.
Further the pair is going to research on the mechanisms of infection and aging and their association with high levels of infectious diseases and inadequate medical care in the historical populations and developing countries.