Children With Older Siblings Likely to Grow Shorter Than Average

by VR Sreeraman on  September 14, 2007 at 4:49 PM Child Health News
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Children With Older Siblings Likely to Grow Shorter Than Average
Children with older siblings, particularly brothers are at a risk of having their growth stunted, a new study has found.

The study of 14,000 British families, conducted by Dr David Lawson of University College London, also showed that children in larger families were likely to be shorter than average.

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Analysis of children born in the 1990s showed that children with three siblings were 2.5 centimetres (one inch) shorter than the average height for their age. The lost height for older siblings was shown to be short-term but there were long-lasting impacts for the youngest children.

The study suggested that siblings may reduce parents' resources in terms of time, money or love.

The researchers studied 14,000 born in 1990's who were enrolled on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, one of the largest public health studies to be set up in Britain.

The growth rates of the children were measured and then heights were compared with average heights for the corresponding age. The results showed that having older siblings had a bigger impact on the younger siblings.

The most harmful combination was to be the younger sibling of older brothers, while the effect of having older sisters was milder.

"It is well known that children from larger families perform less well at school but this study is the first to suggest that this also applies to height. Height is generally a good proxy to health," the BBC quoted Dr Lawson, as saying.

"If you are the oldest child, having younger siblings will not affect your development significantly but if you are one of the younger ones, then you can expect to be shorter than your older siblings," he added.

Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin, an expert in epidemiology and public health at Imperial College London, said that the condition of the womb after the first pregnancy may be a crucial factor behind such a phenomenon.

"We know that when women have had a number of pregnancies, they are likely to put on weight and their blood sugar levels can become poorer, and this may have effects on the foetus growing in the womb. It is impossible to know yet what might be causing this effect, though," she said.

"It may be that when families get very large, parents are less able to provide proper nutrition for their children and the youngest are most exposed to that," she added.

Source: ANI

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U guys are soooo wrong! i have an older sis and she's a complete midget!you can mistake her for a 11 year old, except for that face... I'm her younger bro and I'm REALLY tall. so, i think you got that the wrong way around, try it!


Hi my name is Marti and i agree with older siblings being taller has in my case it is true.I am now 18 yrs old and 5'0 tall.I have an older sister who is 5'5 and an older brother who is 5'8.Then there is lucinda she is 13 yrs old and exactly my height.I have got a feeling that she hasnt finished with her growth spurt and may grow taller than me.Lucky for me when i left school Lucinda hadnt started so i didnt have the abuse of my younger sister being my height.My dad is 5'6 tall and mum is 4'10.All through my childhood i had my mum saying when you gonna get your growth spurt.It got on my nerves.I realised that when i was 15 yrs old that was when i stopped growing.i know that because i was friends with 3 other short guys and when they came back from the school holidays they were a good 4 ins taller than me.I was now on a par with being the same height of the new kids coming up.I was warned that i was never gonna be very tall by my g.p has the bone structure showed it up...


Being a shorter than average person is no different in my family has we all all on the short side. Both my parents are barely 5'0 and me and my brother take after them.Peter is 4'11 and i myself is 4'8.I blame it on Peter being the oldest so that is why is the taller.I never minded being this short is is other people that stop and stare.I mean it is not as if i am the shortest person on this planet.I have now been at work for 5 years and the workstaff accept me for who i am.Infact i have more friends here than when i was at school.Pupils treated me like a leper and i suffered with depression for a while.Now everything is good i am still on the lookout for a nice short guy has many guys here are pretty tall.I dont see many short guys so i try the internet to se what is going on.


Coming from my country we are one of the shortest people anyway.I never expected to be tall just average would have done me.Now i come from a big family all together there are 9 of us 6 women and 3 men.Me i am the oldest and one of the men.This is how we go with our heights.
ME--------45 yrs old --------5'0
BROTHER---44 yrs old---------5'1
BROTHER---42 yrs old---------5'2
My 6 sisters are all below 5'0.
SISTER----41 yrs old---------4'9
SISTER----39 yrs old---------4'10
SISTER----38 yrs old---------4'10
TWINS-----36 yrs old --------4'7
SISTER----32 yrs old---------4'11.
Our mum was 4'8 tall and dad was 5'0.
Even all our cousins and outer family are on the shortness.So where we live is good has the tallest people in our village are mainly a few men they are only about 5'7 anyways.Lucky for us we all managed to get married an have our own families all my brothers and i managed to find some woman who arent too bad with our heights so we embrace it with love.


I do not really agree or disagree because i come from a large family it is well known that we arent goint to be giants when we grew up.You see my mum is 4'8 and my dad is 4'10.Then comes all the rest of the family.
Jasmine is 14 yrs old and 4'6
Margi is 12 yrs old and 4'4
Marsha is 10 yrs old and 4'5
You see the girls take after our mum.I dont really think they are going to get much taller they say they will just be pleased if they be the same as mum.
haritar is 20 yrs old and 5'0
gratir is 19 yrs old and 4'9
Then comes me 17 yrs old and 4'7.
I couldnt even get to mums height and i have always been disappointed with that.
If my sisters stay under my height then i wont have too much of a problem i suppose but knowing me they will grow.
i was checked by the doctor only to be told that because mum and dad was short i would be the same.So i can only live in hope that what will be will be..

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