People over six feet tall 'have double the risk' of catching coronavirus - a new international study has revealed.

Here's what researchers have said about this latest development.

Who carried out the survey - and where?

A total of 2,000 people in the UK and US (1,000 in each country) took part in the survey.

The results were then analysed by a team of data scientists in the UK, Norway and the US.

Early results 'significantly' suggest that Covid-19 could be transmitted through the air (aerosol transmission).

Tall people 'have double the risk' of catching Covid-19

Scientists also found that being over 6ft more than doubled the probability of catching Covid-19 or testing positive for the virus.

According to researchers - the data in both countries suggests that aerosol transmission is very likely, with taller people at higher risk – something that would not be expected if transmission was exclusively through droplets.

What is the difference between aerosol and droplet transmission?

  • Aerosols can accumulate in poorly ventilated areas and are carried by air currents.
  • Droplets on the other hand are bigger than aerosols and are thought to travel relatively short distances and drop quickly from the air.

What else did the survey look at?

The survey also explored the impacts of personal characteristics, circumstances and working conditions.

Using a shared kitchen or accommodation is also a significant factor in both countries, but especially in the US where the odds were 3.5 times higher. In the UK, they were 1.7.

What have researchers said?

Professor Evan Kontopantelis, from The University of Manchester, said: “The results of this survey in terms of associations between height and diagnosis suggest downward droplet transmission is not the only transmission mechanism and aerosol transmission is possible.

“This has been suggested by other studies but our method of confirmation is novel.

“Though social distancing is still important because transmission by droplets is still likely to occur, it does suggest that mask wearing may be just as if not more effective in prevention.

“But also, air purification in interior spaces should be further explored.”

Professor Paul Anand, a research director at The Open University said: “Much scientific research has focussed on patterns of spread and underlying mechanisms of transmission.

“But as economies and societies reopen, it is important to know more about the role personal factors as predictors of transmission.

“Though both are market economies, the US and UK differ in the extent and manner in they provide access to health care and welfare support – and that to some extent is demonstrated by the associations shown by the data.”

Rolando Gonzales Martinez, researcher of the University of Agder in Norway, said: “Both structural and individual factors must be taken into account when predicting transmission or designing effective public health measures and messages to prevent or contain transmission.

“But it would be helpful to have repeat observations so more could be said about changes over time.”