A large international research collaboration has found 83 previously unknown gene variants that control people’s height.

The international Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium has uncovered 83 new DNA changes that affect human height.
Credit: Lauren Solomon, Broad Communications

This international study of more than 750,000 people probes deeper into height than ever before. Researchers have identified found around 700 fairly common gene variants. The newly discovered gene variants are, however, more unusual.

The researchers found the genes by examining genetic data from around 750,000 people and are believed to explain about 80 percent of people’s length. But despite the new findings, we are still far from identifying all parts of inheritance that are assumed to affect how long or short we become.

Some of these rare gene variants are important for skeletal growth. Some of these genes were already known, but many (including SUSD5, GLT8D2, LOXL4, FIBIN, and SFRP4) have not previously been connected with skeletal growth.

This new study moves us closer to reaching an understanding of heredity. Science now able to explain 27.4 percent of or heredity genome.


Rare and low-frequency coding variants alter human adult height. Nature 2 January 2017. DOI: 10.1038 / nature21039