Like intelligence, height is genetically determined, however there are thousands of genes implicated in height determination. That is why the finding by researchers from Harvard Medical School of a gene variant responsible for shortening the average height of peruvians in about 2.2 centimeters is so interesting.
There are other rare gene variants known that cause much greater decreases to medium height but their impact on the population is small. People homozigous (carrying two copies) for this new variant, however, are 4.4cm shorter than the average of those not carrying it. That is probably why peruvians are some of the shortest people in the world, with average heights ranging from 159 to 165 cm in men and women, respectively.