Do People Get Shorter with Age?

You may have been the tallest kid in your elementary school only to be the shortest during senior year; or have experienced a monumental growth spurt somewhere during puberty or adolescence. Either way, from the time you’re born until early adulthood, your body continues to grow taller. Your growth may ebb and flow but eventually, sometime around early adulthood, you can expect to have reached your maximum height.  Then, starting in or around your 30s, you will gradually start to get shorter. Men between the ages of 30 and 70 can expect to lose up to an inch, while women can lose as much as two inches. And after age 80, both men and women can lose yet another inch. There is no doubt that people get shorter as they age, but why? Here is the long and short of why people get shorter as they age, and what you can do to prevent it.

Two Main Reasons

The two primary factors that lead to height loss have to do with our bones and muscle. They are:

While getting a bit shorter with age is a normal and expected part of the aging process, the speed by which you lose height is a matter of concern that you – and your orthopedist – will want to know about and monitor. For example, if you lose one to two inches within a year, you may be at a higher risk for hip or spinal fractures, in addition to heart disease.

Standing Tall

If you notice a significant change in your height over a relatively short period of time, you should consult your orthopedist. Here are some ways that you can keep you standing tall –

Get Scanned

If you are a woman in your mid-to late-40s or a man in your mid-60s or if you have had any broken bones as an adult, it’s a good idea to undergo screening for bone density. This can help identify the onset of osteoporosis or other condition that might have an adverse effect on both your health and your height.

When it comes to maintaining good bone health, Tarpon Orthopedics –  West Plano, North Plano, and Addison’s sports medicine, spine, and pain specialists – can diagnose your condition and devise a treatment plan just for you. Contact us today for more information by calling (972) 596-1059 or fill out our online form to request an appointment now. We look forward to seeing you and helping you enjoy a more active, healthy lifestyle.

Alex Hirsch

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