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Height and social class in middle-aged British men.
  1. M Walker,
  2. A G Shaper,
  3. G Wannamethee
  1. Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London.


    A study of 7735 middle-aged British men drawn from general practices in twenty-four towns shows that there has been a progressive increase in mean height in the men who were born between 1919 and 1939. This is true for both manual and non-manual classes, but the mean heights of the two groups are significantly different and remain widely separated over this period of time. Manual workers lag twenty years behind non-manual workers in their attained height. Data from other studies indicate that this social class difference in adult height is still present in those born up to 1960. The variation in mean height between the twenty-four towns is less marked than the variation in mean height between the social classes. After social class and age have been taken into account, a "town effect" on height is still present. If height is accepted as an indicator of socio-economic circumstances in childhood, then there is a difference in adult height between social class groups in Great Britain which does not appear to be diminishing.

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