Human Genetics

, Volume 129, Issue 5, pp 465–472

Recent progress in the study of the genetics of height

Review Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00439-011-0969-x

Cite this article as:
Lettre, G. Hum Genet (2011) 129: 465. doi:10.1007/s00439-011-0969-x


Adult height is a classic polygenic trait of high narrow-sense heritability (h2 = 0.8). In the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, variation in adult height was used as a model to set the foundation of the fields of statistics and quantitative genetics. More recently, with our increasing knowledge concerning the extent of genetic variation in the human genome, human geneticists have used genome-wide association studies to identify hundreds of loci robustly associated with adult height, providing new insights into human growth and development, and into the architecture of complex human traits. In this review, I highlight the progress made in the last 2 years in understanding how genetic variation controls height variation in humans, including non-Caucasian populations and children.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Montreal Heart InstituteMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Département de MédecineUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada