Human health sciences :: Endocrinology, metabolism & nutrition
Sciences de la santé humaine :: Endocrinologie, métabolisme & nutrition
Human health sciences :: Pediatrics
Sciences de la santé humaine :: Pédiatrie
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AbstractHuman adult height has been increasing world-wide for a century and a half. The rate of increase depends on time and place of measurement. Final height appears to have reached a plateau in Northern European countries but it is still increasing in southern European countries as well as Japan. While mean birth length has not changed recently in industrialized countries, the secular trend finally observed in adult height mostly originates during the first 2 years of life. Secular trend in growth is a marker of public health and provides insights into the interaction between growth and environment. It has been shown to be affected by income, social status, infections and nutrition. While genetic factors cannot explain such rapid changes in average population height, epigenetic factors could be the link between growth and environment.