Thursday, September 04, 2008

Death to tall people

Once again tall people are at a higher risk of dieing. If your tall and haven't died in the past decade, you might recall that there was a study that showed each inch of height cost you one year of life. That is a lot of tree branches to run into in order to kill tall people off at that rate. (On a side note, that same year, left handers were told they would die a decade early.) Well the scientific story behind both of these old results is simply that early in the 1900 people were often short and right handed. Later in the century, more people were left handed and more people were taller. Hence if you died and were tall--you were more likely young. This is called a cohert effect. So the NYT article is quite possibly rediscovering the same old bad science. Without enough of a better link--it is hard to know for sure. But that is where my money is.