Shorter people are more likely to have a lower IQ than their taller counterparts, a new study has claimed.
Scientists, including the Edinburgh University academics, identified genes which influence both height and intelligence. They found that people who are shorter than average are more likely to have lower intelligence quotient than people who are taller, ‘The Scotsman’ reported.
The findings were based on data compiled on thousands of people recruited over a five-year period for the Scottish Family Health Study. The intelligence levels were determined by a number of tests that measured linguistic ability, reaction times and power of recall.
Academics analysed DNA markers in more than 6,800 unrelated people from 2006 to 2011 in a joint study with Aberdeen University and University College London. The study concluded that 70 per cent of the link between height and IQ could be explained by genetics, while the remaining 30 per cent was down to environmental factors.
Understanding genetic links between intelligence and height could help predict an individual’s health problems, scientists believe. “What we found was a small association between height and intelligence such that people who are taller tend to be smarter,” Riccardo Marioni, from Edinburgh University’s Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine said.
“We found a moderate and statistically significant genetic correlation between height and general intelligence,” researchers said. Scientists have explored the link between height and intelligence for a number of years, but the reasons for the relationship remained unclear.
The study appears in the Behaviour Genetics journal.