News in numbers: January/February 2021

11 January 2021

A breakdown of recent community health news, in numbers. Download the PDF, here

The gap in height between school-age children in the tallest and shortest nations has indicated poor diet as a factor. Weight also varied hugely.

Researchers led by Imperial College London analysed data from more than 65 million children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 from nearly 200 countries between 1985 and 2019.

Global height ranking for the UK fell: 19-year-old boys were 28th tallest in 1985 at 176.3 cm, but 39th in 2019 at 178.2 cm. And 19-year-old girls went from 162.7cm (42nd) to 163.9 cm (49th)

The number of young people (aged 27 to 29 years) with anxiety doubled from 13% to 24% during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Anxiety remained high even when restrictions eased, so a similar situation may arise this winter, say researchers at the University of Bristol

33% to 62%
The lower lifetime risk of depression associated with living with a partner or spouse, according to research from King’s College London.

Having 1, or 3 or more, children was associated with an increased risk of depression – between 11% and 27% – compared with having none.

For single parents, having children was associated with an overall increased risk of depression. More than 52,000 middle-aged and older adults took part


Giannelis A et al. (2020). Examining the association between family status and depression in the UK Biobank. See: (accessed 4 December 2020).

Kwong ASF. (2020) Mental health before and during COVID-19 in two longitudinal UK population cohorts. See: (accessed 4 December 2020). 

NCD Risk Factor Collaboration. (2020) Height and body-mass index trajectories of school-aged children and adolescents from 1985 to 2019 in 200 countries and territories: a pooled analysis of 2181 population-based studies with 65 million participants. See: (accessed 4 December 2020).