Short stature refers to a height of a human which is below typical. 

Whether a person is considered short depends on the context. 

There is disagreement about the degree of shortness that should be called short. 

Dwarfism is the condition of being very short, often caused by a medical condition.

Shorter people tend to develop darker personality traits.

Shorter people gain traits such as narcissism and psychopathy as part of an evolutionary mechanism to overcome their lacking physical stature

People who are shorter than average and wish to be taller tend to have darker traits.

The Dark Triad: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. 

Psychopathy is marked by a lack of empathy and remorse, impulsivity, and a disregard for social norms. 

Narcissism is defined via an exaggerated sense of self-importance, entitlement, and need for constant admiration. 

Machiavellianism, refers to a propensity for manipulation, cynicism, and a lack of moral principles.

Machiavellianism traits have become so might be adaptive, socially to attaining status/mates/survival calibrated on both dispositional features like the ability to compete and the context one grew up in.

Studies suggests a negative correlation between both actual height and height satisfaction, and the presence of the negative traits. 

Individuals who are shorter in height and those who desired to be taller were found to exhibit higher levels of these maleficent traits.

Shorter people, especially those who wish they were taller, are more characterized by traits that are likely to make them show-off, be confrontational, and interested in power.

Negative correlation between height and narcissism was stronger among men, but the other traits were not correlated by gender.

It is suggested that when people cannot be physically formidable, they may then be psychologically formidable instead, and may resort to psychological tactics as a way of compensating for their physical limitations.

Shorter men may attempt to assert dominance, accumulate resources, and win over romantic partners with their personality traits. 

Shorter women may engage in deceptive behaviors to enhance their desirability or gain protection and resources. 

Such psychological maneuvers are believed to offer a survival and mating advantage, thereby offsetting the physical disadvantages posed by their size or strength.

Short stature is typically defined as an adult height that is more than two standard deviations below a population’s mean for age and gender, which corresponds to the shortest 2.3% of individuals in that population.

The median or typical adult height in developed countries is about 178 centimetres (5 ft 10 in) for men and 165 centimetres (5 ft 5 in) for women.

Shortness in children and young adults nearly always results from below-average growth in childhood.

Shortness in older adults usually results from loss of height due to kyphosis of the spine or collapsed vertebrae from osteoporosis. 

The most common causes of short stature in childhood are constitutional growth delay or familial short stature.

Severe shortness can be a variation of normal, resulting from the interplay of multiple familial genes. 

It can also be due to one or more of many abnormal conditions:

chronic prolonged growth hormone or thyroid hormone deficiency, malnutrition, disease of a major organ system, treatment with certain drugs, chromosomal deletions. 

Human growth hormone (HGH) deficiency during infancy or childhood, results in noticeable slowing of growth. 

Human growth hormone (HGH)  deficiency may be genetic. 

Among children without growth hormone deficiency, short stature may be caused by Turner syndrome or Noonan syndrome, chronic kidney disease, being small for gestational age at birth, Prader–Willi syndrome, and Wiedemann-Steiner syndrome, among other.conditions. 

Genetic skeletal dysplasias also known as osteochondrodysplasia usually manifest in short-limbed disproportionate short stature.

When the cause of shortness is unknown, it is called idiopathic short stature.

Short stature can also be caused by the bone plates fusing at an earlier age than normal, resulting in stunted growth. 

Normally, the bone age is the same as the biological age but for some people bone age is advanced hitting a growth spurt early on which propels them to average height but stop growing at an earlier age. 

In some people who are naturally shorter are combined with an advanced bone age, and end up being even shorter than the height they normally would have been because of their stunted growth.

Reasons growth development may slow: Genetics-familial short stature, Genetic syndromes can lead to short stature, including Prader-Willi syndrome, Turner syndrome and Noonan syndrome, Chronic diseases that affect the pituitary gland may also affect growth, radiation to the brain can affect pituitary function, pediatric cancer or its treatment can lead to short stature. 

Gastrointestinal diseases that impair nutrition, such as inflammatory bowel disease and celiac can affect growth, can also be a cause. 

Other  conditions can also delay the growth rate, including hypothyroidism, heart disease, kidney disease, immunological disease and several other endocrine disorders, growth hormone deficiency. 

Some children simply don’t produce enough growth hormone, including those born with a poorly developed pituitary gland. 

Malnutrition caused by an inadequate food supply, an eating disorder, or an underlying condition or treatment that affects appetite, lack of nourishment is a common cause of growth delay. 

Psychosocial stress as with exposure to violence because of war or famine or in upsetting home environment can  keep children from growing properly,\.

Chronic illnesses, malnutrition, endocrine, metabolic disorders or chromosomal anomalies are characterized by proportionate short stature. 

Most  genetic skeletal dysplasias are known for short stature.

Disproportionate short stature can be subdivided as specified by the body segments affected by shortening, namely limbs versus trunk.

Short-limb short stature in which there is limb shortening as achondroplasia, hypochondroplasia, pseudoachondroplasia and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia.

Short-trunk short stature in which there is trunk shortening as spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia and mucopolysaccharidosis.

Short-limb short stature can be further subcategorized by the limb segment affected. 

These subcategories of limb shortening include, rhizomelic;humerus and femur, mesomelic;radius, ulna, tibia and fibula snd acromelic(hands and feet). 

The anthropometric measurements of height, sitting height, arm span, upper/ lower-body segment ratio, sitting height/height ratio, and arm span/height ratio for age aid in the differential diagnosis of skeletal dysplasia subtypes.

Height is closely correlated with other health components, such as life expectancy.

A correlation between small stature and a longer life expectancy exists.

Individuals of small stature are also more likely to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to acquire cancer. 

The longevity gene FOXO3 that reduces the effects of aging is more commonly found in individuals of small body size.

Short stature decreases the risk of venous insufficiency.


The decision to treat shortness is based on a belief that the child will be disabled by being extremely short as an adult, so that the risks of treatment will outweigh the risks of not treating the symptom of short stature. 

Most adults who are very short are not physically or psychologically disabled by their height.

Some evidence suggests that there is an inverse linear relationship with height and the risk of suicide.

Human growth hormone treatment results is typically an increase in final height of about 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) taller than predicted.

Increasing final height in children with short stature may be beneficial and could enhance health-related quality of life outcomes.

One year’s worth of drugs normally costs about US$20,000 for a small child and over $50,000 for a teenager.

These drugs are normally taken for five or more years.

Short stature decreases the risk of venous insufficiency.

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