DNA-based prediction of taller-than-average body height is feasible, say researchers in the Netherlands and Sweden.
Professor Manfred Kayser of the Department of Forensic Molecular Biology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues said 180 DNA variants previously implicated in normal height variation were tested in a Dutch European sample consisting of 770 extremely tall individuals, and more than 9,000 normal height control subjects.
The study, published in the journal Human Genetics, found 90 percent of these DNA variants showed a height effect in the tall people, and for more than 40 percent this effect was statistically significant.
"Although the achieved DNA-based prediction accuracy for tall stature is still somewhat lower than we previously established for eye color, hair color and age, I expect that upcoming new knowledge on height genetics will further increase the accuracy in predicting tall stature, and eventually the full range of body height, from DNA," Kayser said in a statement.
Study collaborator Stenvert Drop of the Erasmus University Medical Center's Department of Pediatrics said DNA-based prediction of extreme body height is relevant in pediatrics "to estimate the expected body height of a child in adulthood, which can assist in considering growth limiting treatment."