Associations of mortality with own height using son's height as an instrumental variable

Carslake, David and Fraser, Abigail and Davey Smith, George and May, Margaret and Palmer, Tom and Sterne, Jonathan and Silventoinen, Karri and Tynelius, Per and Lawlor, Debbie A. and Rasmussen, Finn (2013) Associations of mortality with own height using son's height as an instrumental variable. Economics and Human Biology, 11 (3). pp. 351-359.

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Height is associated with mortality from many diseases, but it remains unclear whether the association is causal or due to confounding by social factors, genetic pleiotropy,(1) or existing ill-health. The authors investigated whether the association of height with mortality is causal by using a son's height as an instrumental variable (IV) for parents' height among the parents of a cohort of 1,036,963 Swedish men born between 1951 and 1980 who had their height measured at military conscription, aged around 18, between 1969 and 2001. In a two-sample IV analysis adjusting for son's age at examination and secular trends in height, as well as parental age, and socioeconomic position, the hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause paternal mortality per standard deviation (SD, 6.49cm) of height was 0.96 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.95, 0.96). The results of IV analyses of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease, cancer, external causes and suicide were comparable to those obtained using son's height as a simple proxy for own height and to conventional analyses of own height in the present data and elsewhere, suggesting that such conventional analyses are not substantially confounded by existing ill-health.

Item Type:
Journal Article
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Economics and Human Biology
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Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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18 Jun 2015 05:57
Last Modified:
09 Aug 2022 00:02