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Study says DNA can be used to predict height

DNA can be used to predict taller-than-average height, a study finds.

This could prove useful in criminal investigations and in estimating whether a child will be abnormally tall as an adult, the researchers said.

Their study of nearly 800 extremely tall adults and more than 9,000 normal-height people focused on 180 DNA variants previously linked to normal height differences. Forty percent of the DNA variants showed a significant effect on height in tall people.

The findings appeared in the journal Human Genetics.

The study wasn't as accurate as past research that used DNA to predict eye color, hair color and age, study leader Manfred Kayser said.

"[Still], I expect that upcoming new knowledge on height genetics will further increase the accuracy in predicting tall stature . . . from DNA," said Kayser, of Erasmus University Medical Center, in the Netherlands.

That could help police in identifying crime suspects.There are also medical benefits for children with growth issues, said co-author Stenvert Drop, a pediatrics professor. -- HealthDay