Conventional wisdom dictates that if you happen to come from a family of short people, you could blame your lack of height as hereditary.
However, scientists have so far identified specific gene characteristics to explain about a range of 10 per cent difference between people’s heights.
Researchers believe that genetic abnormalities could be the culprit for up to half of the genetic impact on our height.
The genetic abnormalities, known as copy number variants (CNV), are alterations within the chromosome that means a cell has either too many or too few copies of a slice of DNA, the acid which contains our genetic code.
In some places this might relate to a connection within the chromosome, but in others part or a whole copy of one or more genes might be either missing or duplicated
Researchers found that people with more unusual CNV deletions, where part of the genome is missing, have a tendency to be shorter in stature.
Two studies of a combined 12,000 people by researchers from the Children’s Hospital Boston found that for every million individual deletions, people lost one eighth of an inch in height.
Dr. Joel Hirschhorn, who led the study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, said it showed a small but firm link between the amount of genetic material missing and a decrease in height.