Sultan Kosen of Turkey, 27, right, and He Pingping of China, 21, seen, during an event organized by the Guinness World Records in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. At the time, Kosen was the tallest man, at 8 feet 1 inch. The world's shortest man measured 2 feet 5 inches.
In the ongoing study, which has been under way for nearly 50 years, more than 8,000 men with Japanese ancestry underwent a series of tests. The shorter men outlived their taller counterparts, and today, around 250 of them are still alive. (Via Honolulu Heart Study)
Scientists think shorter people have a reserve of cells that can be used later in life, which could be part of the reason for the longer life span. Shorter men also carried a more enhanced form of the longevity gene.
But, as Slate's headline points out, don't hold your breath. Science is a long way from helping us cheat death.
"The bigger-picture problem is that human longevity is a confluence of so many factors—genes, nutrition, lifestyle, luck—interacting in so many complex ways that there is unlikely ever to be a surefire way to live to 120."
But just in case — certain foods have been said to stimulate that longevity gene we mentioned, including turmeric, green tea, beer and wine ... in moderation, of course.