Nov 8, 2022

Decreased lifespan in female “Munchkin” actors from the cast of the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz does not support the hypothesis linking hypopituitary dwarfism to longevity

Posted by in categories: genetics, life extension

In laboratory mice, pituitary dwarfism caused by genetic reduction or elimination of the activity of growth hormone (GH) significantly extends lifespan. The effects of congenital pituitary dwarfism on human longevity are not well documented. To analyse the effects of untreated pituitary dwarfism on human lifespan, the longevity of a diverse group of widely known little people, the 124 adults who played “Munchkins” in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz was investigated. Survival of “Munchkin” actors with those of controls defined as cast members of The Wizard of Oz and those of other contemporary Academy Award winning Hollywood movies was compared. According to the Kaplan–Meier survival curves, survival of female and male “Munchkin” actors was shorter than cast controls and Hollywood controls of respective sexes.

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