For the new study, Grasgruber and his team surveyed 3207 male students aged 17 to 20 years old from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each participant filled out a basic questionnaire and had their height, sitting height, and arm span measured. The research is part of a larger ongoing survey of both men and women from countries known to have many tall individuals.
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As Grasgruber previously indicated, good nutrition and environmental factors can influence the height of a population. Socioeconomic factors are important now as well, making it all the more puzzling that some of Europe’s poorest regions are home to men that tend to grow over six feet tall on average. This places a greater focus on genetics.
Prior research conducted by Grasgruber and other scientists connected the Y haplogroup I-M170 to tall stature.
“We know that the oldest sample carrying I-M170 belongs to a man from the Gravettian culture who lived some 33,000 years ago in Southern Italy,” Grasgruber said.
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He explained that this group of genes, along with other related haplogroups, has been traced to parts of Asia and Europe, including to where many of today’s tallest men live.