This paper outlines the requirements for a computerized data management package designed specifically to handle growth data. Features include: screen design for data entry, data checking on distances and velocities, extraction of selected subsets of records or variables.
To assess secular changes in physical growth and the current prevalence and trend of overweight/obesity in Argentinian schoolchildren.
Subjects and methods:
One thousand and forty-nine schoolchildren aged 6 and 12 years attending schools in 1990 were compared with an age-matched sample of 935 boys and girls collected between 2005-2007. Changes in weight, height and BMI by age between the surveys were analysed using one-way analysis of variance. Overweight and obesity were defined according to IOTF criteria and compared by Chi-squared test. Odds ratios (OR) and intervals of confidence (95% CI) were also calculated.
Six and 12 year-old boys and girls were significantly heavier (1.2-3.2 kg) and had higher BMIs (0.7-1.0 kg/m(2)) in 2005-2007 than in 1990. Significant differences in height were seen in 6 year old boys (1.5 cm) and 12 year old girls (1.3 cm). Overweight and obesity increased by 4.4% (OR = 1.4, 1.1-1.8) and 5.9% (OR = 4.3, 2.8-6.5), respectively; obesity being higher in younger children.
The disharmonic secular change in weight and height has led to high overweight/obesity. The obesity increase is consistent with global and regional trends, indicating a shift in BMI distribution, especially at the higher centiles.
Participants in many youth sports are commonly combined into age groups spanning 2 years.
The study compared variation in size, function, sport-specific skill and goal orientation associated with differences in biological maturity status of youth soccer players within two competitive age groups.
The sample included 159 male soccer players in two competitive age groups, 11-12 years (n=87) and 13-14 years (n=72). Weight, height, sitting height and four skinfolds, four functional capacities, four soccer skills and goal orientation were measured. Skeletal maturity was assessed using the Fels method. Each player was classified as late, on time or early maturing based on the difference between skeletal and chronological ages. ANOVA was used to compare characteristics of players across maturity groups.
Late, on time and early maturing boys are represented among 11-12-year-olds, but late maturing boys are under-represented among 13-14-year-olds. Players in each age group advanced in maturity are taller and heavier than those on time and late in skeletal maturity, but players of contrasting maturity status do not differ, with few exceptions, in functional capacities, soccer-specific skills and goal orientation.
Variation in body size associated with maturity status in youth soccer players is similar to that for adolescent males in general, but soccer players who vary in maturity status do not differ in functional capacities, soccer-specific skills and goal orientation.
There is a lack of detailed series of growth data that can be used to analyse secular trends in growth and obesity of Portuguese children.
The purpose of this study was to examine the secular trend in height, weight, BMI and in the prevalence of obesity (including overweight), during the last four decades, in a sample of high socio-economic status Portuguese boys.
All candidates (9-11 years) to a military boarding school (Colegio Militar) in Lisbon, Portugal, examined between 1962 and 2006 were the subjects of this study. Records of height and weight measured during medical examination were obtained (n=3176). Body mass index (kg m(-2)) (BMI) was calculated and the International Obesity Taskforce (IOTF) cut-offs were used to define overweight and obesity.
The data obtained provide evidence for accelerating rates of overweight and obesity in affluent Portuguese boys, concomitant with a greater secular increase in mean weight, compared to that of height. Obesity (including overweight) more than doubled in the group of 9-year-olds (highest prevalence of 47.3% in 2000) and tripled in the group of 10- and 11-year-olds with greatest changes occurring between 1990 and 2000.
The results suggest that a high family income does not necessarily translate into more informed choices about healthy foods and lifestyles, with a strong influence in the prevalence of obesity. This pattern of association between socio-economic status and obesity may reflect a late socio-economic transition of Portugal, compared to that of other high-income countries.
Normalizing left ventricular mass (LVM) for inter-individual variation in body size is a central issue in human biology. During the adolescent growth spurt, variability in body size descriptors needs to be interpreted in combination with biological maturation.
To examine the contribution of biological maturation, stature, sitting height, body mass, fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) to inter-individual variability in LVM in boys, using proportional allometric modelling.
Subjects and methods:
The cross-sectional sample included 110 boys of 11-15 years (12.9-1.0 years). Stature, sitting height, body mass, cardiac chamber dimensions and LVM were measured. Age at peak height velocity (APHV) was predicted and used as an indicator of biological maturation. Percentage fat was estimated from triceps and subscapular skinfolds; FM and FFM were derived.
Exponents for body size descriptors were k = 2.33 for stature, k = 2.18 for sitting height, k = 0.68 for body mass, k = 0.17 for FM and k = 0.80 for FFM (adjusted R(2 )= 19-62%). The combination of body descriptors and APHV increased the explained variance in LVM (adjusted R(2)( )= 56-69%).
Stature, FM and FFM are the best combination for normalizing LVM in adolescent boys; when body composition is not available, an indicator of biological maturity should be included with stature.
This report is of a two-year longitudinal study of dietary intake and growth in height and weight of 405 children, initially aged 11-12 years. Between 1979 and 1981 they each recorded their food intake on five occasions for three consecutive days using a diet diary with a 20 min private interview on the fourth day. Computerized food tables were used. Social class was recorded. The usual differences in height, weight and growth increments between the social classes were found. There were no significant differences in nutrient intake between social classes. Within a social class there were few statistically significant correlations between energy or protein intake and height or weight increments. It was concluded that a very high reliability of food intake measurements would be required in order to relate diet to growth and many other factors (e.g. energy expenditure, body composition and puberty) may also mask any such relationship. Social class alone would seem an inadequate means of allowing for such factors.
Although the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) has increased in youth, the potential independent contribution of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) to the clustering of metabolic risk factors has received relatively little attention.
This study evaluated associations between the clustering of metabolic risk factors and CRF in a sample of youth.
Subjects and methods:
Height, weight, BMI, fasting glucose, insulin, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressures were measured in a cross-sectional sample of 924 youth (402 males, 522 females) of 11-17 years. CRF was assessed using the 20-metre shuttle run test. Physical activity (PA) was measured with a 3-day diary. Outcome variables were statistically normalized and expressed as Z-scores. A MetS risk score was computed as the mean of the Z-scores. Multiple linear regression was used to test associations between CRF and metabolic risk, adjusted for age, sex, BMI, PA and parental education.
CRF was inversely associated with MetS after adjustment for potential confounders. After adjusting for BMI, the relationship between CRF and metabolic risk has substantially improved.
CRF was independently associated with the clustering of metabolic risk factors in youth of 11-17 years of age.
The National Study of Health and Growth (NSHG) was set up in 1972 to monitor growth in primary schoolchildren. Each year 8000 children in England (most parts except the south-east) and 2500 in Scotland are measured. Data from the first year have been used to obtain standards of height, weight and triceps skinfold for ages 5 to 11 inclusive, and ellipse contours of weight by height for each year of age. The distributions of weight and triceps skin fold were positively skew; logarithmic transformations led to satisfactory Normalized distributions. Centiles within each age group, calculated from the mean and standard deviation of the transformed variables, were closely similar to the observed centiles. Scottish children were lighter and shorter than English children in all age-sex groups. The heights and weights of English children in the NSHG were very similar to those published by Tanner, Whitehouse and Takaishi (1966). Triceps skinfold agreed closely with the data of Tanner and Whitehouse (1975) for the 50th and 97th centiles in boys, but our 3rd centile was well above its counterpart. Girls had higher skinfolds than girls in Tanner's data at the 3rd and 50th centiles. The triceps skinfolds of Scottish children were lower than those of English children throughout the age range and for all the centiles in both sexes. An example is given of the use of our ellipse contours of height and weight for surveillance of a population of children. Children's height is discussed in relation to variability over time and between different parts of the country.
Some developmental correlates of hand preference in a large nationally representative sample of 11-year-old schoolchildren were examined. Non-right handedness was found to have slight, but statistically significant, associations with deficits of performance on certain standardized attainment and ability tests; with "poor speech" as assessed impressionistically by teachers in school; and with "poor control of hands" as similarly assessed by teachers. Non-right handedness was not associated with defects of articulation or stammering as assessed by doctors in a medical examination; nor withperformance on a clinical speech test; nor with writing productivity or syntactic maturity. There were substantial sex differences in the frequencies of non-right handedness, but no social class differences.
All the elementary schoolchildren (ages 7-11 years) in the city of Aosta were diagnosed clinically for obesity and measured for height, weight and triceps and subscapular skinfolds. A statistical discriminant analysis revealed that, on the basis of these measurements, this population of children could be divided into a group of normal children and one or more distinct populations of obese children. To the extent that these groups reveal qualitative phenotypic differences, they should simplify genetic studies of obesity.
Differences in Tanner-Whitehouse (TW) skeletal ages as derived from the original (TW1) and revised (TW2) systems were compared in three ethnically different samples of children 6-13 years of age: mixed longitudinal samples of American White and Black children for Philadelphia, and a cross-sectional samples of Mexican children from Oaxaca in southern Mexico. TW2 skeletal ages are, on average, consistently lower than TW1 skeletal ages. Within a given chronological age and sex group, the differences are similar in terms of means and variation about the means in better-off children, both black and White in Philadelphia and in disadvantaged Mexican children.
This study examines CVD risk factors trends in Welsh adolescents between 2002 and 2007.
CVD risk factor data was examined from two cross-sectional studies. The first study (73 participants; aged 12.9 ± 0.3 years) was completed in 2002. The second study (90 participants; aged 12.9 ± 0.4 years) was conducted in 2007. Measurements included body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, fibrinogen (Fg) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).
In boys, mean BMI and WC were lower in 2007, although not significantly (p ≥ 0.05). In 2007, there were improvements in mean lipid, Fg and hs-CRP concentrations in both sexes (p < 0.05). In 2002, 42.8% of boys and 34.2% of girls were overweight or obese; in 2007, this was 23.7% and 28.9% for boys and girls, respectively. More adolescents in 2002 exceeded the recommended levels for lipids, Fg and hs-CRP.
This is the only study to examine CVD risk factor trends in Welsh adolescents. Although overweight continues to be widespread in 12-13 year olds, this study did not identify significant mean changes in overweight and obesity between 2002 and 2007. Overall, the data presented a positive trend in lipid profile and inflammatory factors.
Physique has been useful in assessing the outcome of underlying growth and maturity processes, which leads to a better understanding of variation in child and adult health. However, a high endomorphy rating has been associated with hypertension in adults, posing a serious threat to their health status, while receiving little attention in children.
The study examined the association between somatotypes, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) in 6-13-year-old rural children, in Ellisras, South Africa.
A total of 1902 subjects (980 boys and 922 girls) aged 6-13 years were studied as part of the Ellisras Longitudinal Study. Height, weight, four skinfold sites, two breadths, and two girths were measured according to the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK). The Heath-Carter method of somatotyping was used, together with internationally recommended cut-off points for BMI in children. Hypertension, defined as the average of three separate BP readings, where the systolic or diastolic BP is greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for age and sex, was determined.
The prevalence of hypertension ranges from 1 to 5.8% in boys and 3.4-11.4% in girls. The prevalence of overweight ranges from 1.1 to 2.9% in boys and 0.6-4.6% in girls. Systolic BP and BMI showed a significant positive correlation at age 6 years (r = 0.436) and 10-13 years (r = 0.180-0.246 in boys and r = 0.221-0.271 in girls). Diastolic BP showed an insignificant correlation with the BMI and somatotype components in boys and girls.
A significant association exists between BP and BMI, and ectomorphy components even after being adjusted for age, gender and height. The need to manage hypertensive individuals is evident in this sample to combat this chronic disease from an early age. Follow-up studies should investigate the relationship between BP and the dietary intake of these children.
Populations in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico are at high risk for malnutrition and marginalization.
The study compared secular changes in the growth status of urban and rural schoolchildren in the Valley of Oaxaca between the 1970s and 2000.
Cross-sectional surveys of boys and girls aged 6-13 years (n = 1472) were carried out in an urban colonia populares in 1972 and 2000 and a rural indigenous community in 1978 and 2000. Height, sitting height and weight were measured; leg length, sitting height ratio, BMI, and prevalence of stunting, underweight, overweight and obesity were calculated. Sex-specific ANCOVA controlling for age was used.
Both urban and rural children experienced significant secular gains in linear dimensions, body weight and the BMI between the 1970s and 2000. Estimated rates of secular gain overlapped considerably between urban and rural children. Secular gains in the BMI are significantly greater in urban than rural boys and girls. Urban-rural differences in linear dimensions and body weight in 2000 compared to the 1970s do not differ in either sex, but urban-rural differences in the BMI are greater in boys and girls in 2000 compared to the 1970s. The prevalence of stunting declined while that of overweight and obesity increased.
Significant secular increases in body size occurred between the 1970s and 2000, but there was considerable overlap between urban and rural children. Only secular gains in the BMI were significantly greater in urban than rural boys and girls and the magnitudes of urban-rural differences in the BMI were greater in 2000 than in the 1970s.
The stability of physique determined by the anthroposcopic 'Atlas' technique and the anthropometric Health-Carter method was examined in a sample of 210 healthy Belgian schoolboys studied longitudinally at yearly intervals from 13 to 18 years of age. The two rating systems were also compared. Results indicate that components of the same type in the two methods do not measure the same underlying factors, particularly for mesomorphy (anthroposcopic technique) and the second component (Health-Carter method). The methods cannot be considered as equivalent. The stability analysis reveals that the 'athletic' component tends to be less stable than the other two components, especially in the anthroposcopic Sheldon technique. In general, however, the constancy of the three somatotype components is fairly high during the growth period considered.
The - 13910C>T polymorphism has been associated with lactase persistence (LP) in European populations.
To assess - 13910C>T genotypes across Portugal and in adult individuals with unspecific gastrointestinal complaints associated with milk consumption.
Subjects and methods:
This study genotyped - 13910C>T in the general population from Northern (n = 64), Central (n = 70) and Southern (n = 65) Portugal and in 40 subjects with gastrointestinal symptoms. Additionally, the concordance was evaluated between breath-hydrogen test and - 13910C>T genotypes in 65 samples.
An overall frequency of 0.349 for the LP - 13910*T allele was estimated in the general population, with a noticeable decrease in the South (0.269) compared with North (0.383) and Centre (0.393). Among the symptomatic group, the frequency of the - 13910*T allele (0.363) was not significantly different from the general population. A 94% concordance was found between the breath-hydrogen and the molecular tests.
This study suggests that (i) the distribution of the LP polymorphism is not uniform across the country, (ii) genotyping - 13910C>T is a good diagnostic tool for lactase status in the Portuguese population and (iii) self-reported gastrointestinal complaints are not good predictors of the LP status, implying that a significant part of those complaints may not be related to hypolactasia.
1. Measurements of stature and sitting height were made at 0930 and 1400 h on 19 boys aged 12-14 years with the "stretching upward" technique. 11 different boys were similarly measured at 1000 and 1700 h. 2. The average decrease in stature from 0930 to 1400 h was 2.0 mm and from 1000 to 1700 h was 4.6 mm. The corresponding values for sitting height were 2.0 mm and 2.8 mm. 3. No strong evidence for individual differences in diurnal change was found. 4. The standard error of stature measurement, estimated from duplicate measurements taken five minutes apart by the same observer in the afternoon sessions, was +/- 1.8 mm.
Whole body counting of potassium-40 and anthropometric measurements were done on 88 urban and rural Japanese boys 12 to 14 years of age. The log-normal distribution provided a good fit to the observed data of potassium content in both groups. The urban and rural boys did not differ significantly in age, weight, body and sitting height, chest and abdomen circumferences, antero-posterior diameter of chest and abdomen, and grip strength. On the other hand, the mean potassium content, K/body weight, K/fat-free mass and estimated upper-arm muscle circumference were significantly greater in rural boys. Skinfold thickness and percentage fat were significantly greater in urban boys. In a regression analysis estimating whole body potassium from anthropometric variables, body weight and skinfold thickness were the most significant variables, accounting for 85.2% of the total variation. Estimation errors were smaller in the rural than in the urban group. Factor analysis was used to identify the factors which could explain the items measuring body composition and strength. Factor 1, in which potassium content and grip strength are the most important items, was designated as the 'Muscular Factor', and Factor 2, in which skinfold thickness and upper-arm circumference are the most significant items, was designated as the 'Fatness Factor'. The factor scores of rural subjects were scattered in a considerably narrower range than those of urban subjects.
Previous results on growth patterns of children from central-southern Italy (Abruzzo region) showed an increasing tendency to obesity and suggested that the secular trend was still in progress in this region. However, data on pubertal development was lacking.
The objective of the study was to provide population data on pubertal development in a sample of 535 boys aged 6-14 years as a contribution to the ongoing debate on earlier onset of pubertal traits and on the slowing down of the secular trend.
A cross-sectional survey was used. Data for genital and pubic hair development (GD and PHD) were analysed by probit analysis.
The boys start developing sexual characteristics at age 9: 13.3% had entered stage 2 of GD and 8.9% showed PHD. At 13 years of age, 5% and 7.4% were still in stage 1 of GD and PHD, respectively, whereas almost one-third had attained stage 5 for both sexual characteristics. The median age for attainment of stage 2 was 11.2 years for GD, 11.5 years for PHD and 11 years for one or both of them.
These results are in line with those for several European and industrialized countries and do not show a significantly earlier onset of sexual maturation.
The relationship between spurts in height and in mental performance was studied by following a sample of Swedish urban schoolchildren from age 10 to 14 years. The children were grouped into early, average and late maturers with peak height velocity age (PHV age) as the criterion. A mental arithmetic test was administered once a year from grade 3 to 7 inclusive (10-14 years). Gain/year and level of performance were analysed both for a pure longitudinal sample (examined every year) and for mixed longitudinal samples. Early- and average-maturing girls had a maximum gain/year in performance about one year earlier than late-maturing girls. In boys, only early maturers seemed to have a peak in performance gain. Results from mixed longitudinal analysis indicated that gain/year curves were different for girls and boys. In level of performance, late-maturing girls were inferior to average and early maturers. No differences between maturity groups were found for boys. Girls were superior to boys in grade 5 (age 12) and grade 6 (age 13) in level of performance. Social background had a great impact on level of mental performance measured by this test. The relative influence of physical maturation and social background on level of mental performance was approximated as the ratio of the mean difference in test scores between early and late maturers to the mean difference between social group I + II and social group III. The ratio fluctuated over the grades 3 through 7; physical maturity seemed to have the greatest effect in grade 5 (age 12) for girls and in grade 7 (age 14) for boys.
This study used multilevel regression modelling to longitudinally investigate the influences of age, sex, body size, skinfold thicknesses and maturity on the development of isokinetic knee extension and flexion on eight occasions over a 4-year period. Forty-one subjects (20 boys and 21 girls) were measured and 295 isokinetic leg strength tests and associated measures were successfully completed. Subjects were aged 10.0 +/- 0.3 years at the onset of the study. Stature, body mass, triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses, and sexual maturation (according to pubic hair development) were assessed at each test occasion. Isokinetic concentric knee extension and flexion of the dominant leg were determined to elicit maximal peak extension (PET) and flexion torque (PFT). Statistical significance was accepted at p < 0.05. Multilevel regression modelling indicated that stature and mass were significant predictors of both PET and PFT. Age and maturity were non-significant explanatory variables once stature and mass had been accounted for. Skinfold thickness exerted a significant negative effect independent of mass and stature on PFT but not PET. At test occasion 8, cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of the knee extensors (ExCSA) and flexors (FlexCSA) were determined using magnetic resonance imaging on 23 boys and 14 girls and examined as predictors of isokinetic leg strength. There were no significant sex-related differences in PET or PFT. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients indicated a significant relationship between ExCSA and PET and FlexCSA and PFT for both boys and girls. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) demonstrated that ExCSA and FlexCSA were significant explanatory variables for PET and PFT, respectively, but became non-significant once stature and mass had been introduced into the analysis. To conclude, there were no significant sex differences in PET or PFT between the ages of 10 and 14 years and the development of PET and PFT could be accounted for by the increase in stature and mass. Age, maturity and thigh muscle CSA were all non-explanatory variables in the production of PET and PFT once body size had been controlled for.
Mothers with higher levels of education are more likely to engage in health-promoting behaviour; thus, it is intuitive that a child's physical activity would be positively related to maternal education. The literature on this area, however, is inconclusive and may be due to the methods used to assess physical activity (i.e. the use of aggregated and self-reported physical activity that may not reflect the true and detailed variation of physical activity).
To profile the physical activity behaviours of girls with mothers of differing educational attainment.
77 girls (grades 4-8) wore an Actical accelerometer for 7 days. Minutes spent sedentary and in light, moderate and vigorous physical activity per day over 7 days, 5 weekdays, 2 weekends, and 1 h commuting period to and from school of girls of University educated (UE) and non-UE mothers were analysed.
After controlling for confounders, girls with UE mothers were more likely to participate in vigorous physical activity at the weekend and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during the morning commute to school.
Research investigating the relationship between maternal education and child's physical activity should explore, at higher resolution, when activity is accumulated, in particular separating weekday and weekend physical activity.
The study evaluated the growth status and secular change in body size of indigenous Tarahumara children in northern Mexico.
Heights and weights of Tarahumara children 6-14 years were measured in 1990 (n = 601) and 2007 (n = 583); the BMI was calculated. International criteria defined weight status while United States reference data defined stunting.
Estimated secular gains in height from 1990 to 2007 were greatest in 6-7 year-old boys and declined with age to a small, non-significant secular decline in boys 12-14 years. Among girls secular gains in height were similar at 6-7 and 8-9 years, largest at 10-11 years and small and non-significant at 12-14 years. Secular gains in weight were similar among 6-7 and 8-9 year-old boys and girls, were greater in girls than in boys at 10-11 years and showed a small, non-significant secular decline in boys and girls 12-14 years. Secular change in the BMI paralleled those for weight. The prevalence of stunting declined from 1990 to 2007 in both sexes and all age groups except 12-14 year youth. Overweight was more prevalent in girls than boys in both years and increased from 4% to 7% in boys and 9% to 13% in girls. Obesity was not common among boys and girls in each age group and in both years. Stunting and overweight/obesity were not related in either 1990 or 2007.
Positive secular changes in growth status have occurred in Tarahumara children 6-11 years in contrast to negligible changes among children 12-14 years. The results suggest recent improvements in health and nutrition sufficient to support a positive secular trend in younger children.
Anthropometric measurements of 1169 Saudi school boys between the ages of 6 and 14 years are reported. The boys were randomly selected from primary schools in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Measurements of height, weight, grip strength, chest, triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses as well as biacromial, chest, bi-iliac, knee, and elbow breadths were taken. Saudi boys have slightly lower values for body weight and height than American boys (NCHS standards). Values of skinfold measurements increased with age up to age 11 where they plateaued and took then a sharp increase by age 14. Means of triceps and subscapular skinfolds of the Saudi boys are also lower than some standards from U.S.A. throughout age 13. At age 14, however, the Saudi boys have higher means than the U.S.A. boys.
Data from maternity clinics have been used to study the trend in menarcheal age among girls born in Oslo after 1840. The investigation was based on recordings from approximately 50 women from each year. The women were divided into social categories according to their own or their husband's occupation. The results show a trend toward earlier maturation within the working class, which is characterized by two periods of rapid fall in menarcheal age. The first period covers women born between 1860 and 1880, and shows a fall in menarcheal age from about 15.6 to about 14.6 years. During the second period of rapid fall, which covers women born between 1905 and 1940, the menarcheal age was further reduced from about 14.6 to 13.3 years. The age at menarche has been stable at about 13.3 years for women born after 1940. These results contrast with those of some earlier studies of the menarcheal age in Norway. However, it is shown that the discrepancies between these investigations and our own disappear when the same computational methods and the same interpretation of the age recordings are used.
Weights and a number of linear measurements were related to crown-heel length in fresh apparently normal foetuses ranging from 8 to 21 weeks' post-menstrual age. The average relationships agreed remarkably well with results reported many years ago on the basis of preserved specimens mostly from spontaneous abortions. There was no evidence of sex differences.
Weight and several linear measurements have been related to postmenstrual age in a series of fresh, apparently normal foetuses, ranging in age from 8 to 21 weeks. Although the correlation between these variables and age was high, the prediction of foetal age from such measurements can never be precise, due in part to difficulties inherent in the concept of postmenstrual age. The average relationships agreed in general with those in previous reports, including those based on spontaneous abortion material.
Estimates of inbreeding are rather scarce for British populations. A number of studies, especially of Scottish island populations, have focused on pedigree analysis, whilst others have used survey methods or inference from isonymy. By comparison with continental Europe, however, little is known of the historical development of inbreeding. This is undoubtedly due to the lack of evidence from dispensations to marry blood relatives, which are routinely available in the records of marriage of the Roman Catholic church. The paper uses as its data source the Faculty Office Registers, 1534-1540, which were the product of a new system of issuing dispensations following the Dispensations Act of 1533, and which are among the earliest administrative records of the Church of England, founded as a result of Henry VIII's breach with Rome. Dispensations are recorded in the Faculty Office until 1540, when all prohibitions on marriage beyond the proscribed relationships laid down in Leviticus were lifted. The data suggest surprisingly low levels of consanguineous marriage, including a lack of first-cousin marriages. These findings are discussed in terms of the reliability of the archive, and of the social and religious views attending marriage between blood relatives in the medieval and early modern periods.
Using a family reconstitution study the biology of the plague in Penrith, Cumbria in 1597/8 is described in detail; it was an explosive epidemic that spread rapidly within families and 606 individuals died of the plague, some 40% of the population. The age-specific mortality corresponded with the calculated age structure of the population and infection appeared to be random. The sex ratio of victims was 1.37 females to 1 male. The plague spread from the northeast via Richmond and then exploded in the Eden valley, appearing almost simultaneously in Penrith, Kendal and Carlisle. The details of the epidemics and the location and the climate of these widely separated small market towns show that bubonic plague was not the causative agent, and the possibility that anthrax was responsible for the drastic mortality is briefly considered. The population rapidly built up after the plague, largely by immigration and not by increased fertility, and steady-state conditions were re-established within 5 years and continued for 150 years. This severe mortality crisis of the plague had a profound effect on the population at Penrith, triggering long wavelength oscillations in both baptisms and burials in this population living under marginal conditions and maintained in steady-state by density-dependent factors.
This paper aims to provide an overview of variations in average height between 10 European countries, and between socio-economic groups within these countries.
Data on self-reported height of men and women aged 20-74 years were obtained from national health, level of living or multipurpose surveys for 1987-1994. Regression analyses were used to estimate height differences between educational groups and to evaluate whether the differences in average height between countries and between educational groups were smaller among younger than among older birth cohorts.
Men and women were on average tallest in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands and shortest in France, Italy and Spain (range for men: 170-179 cm; range for women: 160-167 cm). The differences in average height between northern and southern European countries were not smaller among younger than among older birth cohorts. In most countries average height increased linearly with increasing birth-year (approximately 0.7-0.8 cm/5 years for men and approximately 0.4 cm/5 years for women). In all countries, lower educated men and women on average were shorter than higher educated men (range of differences: 1.6-3.0 cm) and women (range of differences: 1.2-2.2 cm). In most countries, education-related height differences were not smaller among younger than among older birth cohorts.
The persistence of international differences in average height into the youngest birth cohorts indicates a high degree of continuity of differences between countries in childhood living conditions. Similarly, the persistence of education-related height differences indicates continuity of socio-economic differences in childhood living conditions, and also suggests that socio-economic differences in childhood living conditions will continue to contribute to socio-economic differences in health at adult ages.
It is widely considered that biological maturity influences physical fitness test performance, children can be advantaged/disadvantaged in physical fitness tests by being more or less mature than counterparts of the same chronological age. The current study sought to investigate the effect sexual maturity had upon performance in physical fitness tests. A cross-sectional study involving 161 girls and 152 boys was carried out. Each subject was assessed for stature, mass, self-assessment of sexual maturity, vertical jump, hand grip strength and the 20 m shuttle run test, all procedures were standardized. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients were developed to assess the relationship between maturity and physical fitness measures. ANCOVA inferential statistics were performed to investigate if performance in physical fitness tests differed between children of different sexual maturity stages irrespective of mass and stature. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Stage of sexual maturity was significantly correlated with all physical fitness measures (boys: r=0.56 to 0.73; girls: r=0.24 to 0.46). ANCOVA revealed that when stature and mass were taken into account significant differences were evident between sexual maturity stages in boys but not girls. This suggests that increases in mass and stature are primarily responsible for variation in girls' physical performance throughout maturation, whereas in boys there are some qualitative differences in performance due to other factors. It was concluded that sexual maturity has a large influence on physical fitness measures in boys but less effect in girls. Rating of physical fitness, particularly for boys should take into account biological maturity.
The period of the constitutional transformation, apart from many advantages, has generated a number of serious problems that may affect the biological state of children and adolescents in Poland.
The study documented socio-economic differentiation of growth and dietary intake of boys.
The research involved 523 boys aged 7-16; 54.4% of subjects came from Kielce (a city with a population of over 200 000) and 45.6% came from rural areas - from a region underprivileged in terms of economic development, with a majority of its inhabitants living off the land. Height and weight measurements of the subjects were taken, which allowed for computation of BMI. Dietary intake was assessed using the interview method for 24 h dietary recall. A multifactor variance analysis for unequal numbers in subclasses was applied to estimate the influence of socio-economic factors such as place of residence, mother's education and number of children in the family on somatic traits and on nutrient intake.
Urban boys whose mothers had experienced higher education were characterized by the greatest height (p<0.000). The percentage of the investigated subjects with an excessive body mass was over twice as high among boys in families with one or two children (15.0%) than among boys in families with three or more children (6.1%), and twice as high among urban boys (14.1%) in comparison with rural boys (7.0%). No significant differences in the energy value of daily food intake in each social group were found. The diet of rural boys included a lower percentage of energy intake derived from protein (10.7%) than that of urban boys (12.4%). This percentage decreased together with the lowering level of mother's education. The greatest amount of minerals and vitamins was found in the diets of boys whose mothers had higher education and lived in a city.
Diets of boys with the greatest body height were also characterized by a greater content of mineral components and vitamins, and a greater percentage of energy derived from protein. The relative body mass of the investigated subjects was probably more influenced by factors other than nutrition, i.e. mostly physical activity.
Increasing rates of overweight and obesity in adolescents are major concerns in many countries, including Mexico.
To study anthropometric and body composition characteristics (BCC) and their relations with socioeconomic status (SES), biological history and physical activity (PA) of school-going adolescent boys and girls in the city of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
Subjects and methods:
In this cross-sectional study, a sample of 321 adolescents (156 boys and 165 girls) aged 15-17 years from public and private schools in Merida, was taken from a study carried out in 2008-2009.
Body mass index had significant correlations to BCC (fat mass and fat-free mass). The rate of stunting was higher in girls (18.20%) than in boys (7.69%). Stunted adolescents had higher body fat (%) than normally growing peers. High rates of overweight (boys 26.28%, girls 24.24%) and obesity (boys 10.26%, girls 6.06%) were recorded. SES (parents' age, education and occupation; crowding index in the family; household food expenditure), participants' biological history and PA are related with height and BCC by age and sex.
Adolescents with excess weight (overweight + obesity) reported being less physically active. SES and PA were strongly related to growth and body fatness in the studied adolescents.
Growth trends have never been studied in adolescents of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Portugal.
To analyse growth trends in weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and triceps skin-fold thickness (TST) of adolescents (10-17 years old) of the Autonomous Region of Madeira between 1996-1998 and 2007-2009.
Subjects and methods:
A cross-sectional study was carried out between 2007-2009, including 4314 adolescents, 2237 girls and 2077 boys (10-17 years old). To study secular growth trends, data were compared with a sample from 1996-1998, comparing the means for each anthropometric variable by age and sex using the independent-sample t-test.
An average increase was found in weight of 5.8 kg in boys and 6.3 kg in girls; in height of 3.0 cm in boys and 3.7 cm in girls; in BMI of 1.5 kg/m(2) in boys and 1.7 kg/m(2) in girls; in WC a difference of 5.6 cm and 4.9 cm for boys and girls, respectively, and for MUAC a difference of 2.7 cm in boys and 2.0 cm in girls. No differences were found in TST in boys, but in girls an increase of 1.2 mm was observed.
A general increase in anthropometric measurements, more marked in weight, BMI, WC and MUAC and at younger ages, was observed.
SINE-R elements are a class of retroposon derived from the human endogenous retrovirus HERV-K that has been active in hominoid evolution and may include some members that are Homo sapiens specific. Both SINE-R elements and the HERV-K class of element have potential relevance to recent genome change. Here we report on sequences in the SINE-R class that can be detected on human chromosomes 7 and 17 and compare them with sequences that we have previously reported on the X chromosome and in hominoid primates. The retroposons on chromosomes 7 and 17 showed a high degree of sequence homology (88-96%) with other human retroposons (SINE-R.C2, 11, 14, 19, and HS307/HS408). Phylogenetic analysis using the neighbour-joining method revealed that SINE-R-type retroposons on chromosomes 7 and 17 were inter-related with those of hominoid primates, suggesting that various sub-classes of these retroposons have been evolving independently during hominoid evolution. One element (17-11) on chromosome 17 shares one hundred per cent identity with a 7-11 element on chromosome 7 which suggests either recent transposition or a chromosomal translocation. Thus further investigation of the chromosomal locations of SINE-R elements that together with the HERV-K LTR sequence from which they are derived have the capacity to influence the function of neighbouring cellular genes may be expected to clarify the potential role of these elements in recent hominoid evolution.
The study compared the grip strength of indigenous school youth 6-17 years of age in Oaxaca, southern Mexico, who were surveyed in 1968, 1978 and 2000.
Grip strength (Smedley/Stoelting) was measured to 0.5 kg in 1280 children and adolescent, 621 males and 659 females, in the three surveys. Height and weight were also measured. Strength of the right and left hands was summed to provide a general estimate of muscular strength. Summed grip strength was also expressed per unit body mass (kg/kg) and height (kg/m). Subjects were classified into four age groups: 6-8 years (childhood), 9-11 years (transition in adolescence), 12-14 years (early adolescence) and 15-17 years (later adolescence). Children 6-14 years were surveyed in 1968, 1978 and 2000 while adolescents 15-17 years were surveyed in 1978 and 2000. Sex-specific MANCOVAs were used for comparisons among years within age groups.
Changes in grip strength between 1968 and 1978 among children 6-14 years were small and significant only in girls. Grip strength increased, on average, between 1978 and 2000 in boys 6-17 years but only in girls 6-14 years; adolescent girls 15-17 years in 1978 were stronger than those in 2000. Secular gains in muscular strength were generally proportional to secular gains in body weight and height.
The data demonstrate secular changes in muscular strength in indigenous rural youth in a community in the process of transition from subsistence level agriculture to an economy less dependent upon agriculture.
Marriage records from 1750 through 1949 were used to examine effects of population size, geographic distance, and temporal change on rates of marital exogamy in the Aland Islands, Finland. Exogamy rates for individuals (not couples) were computed for 15 Aland parishes in each of four 50-year time periods, giving a total of 60 observations. These rates were analysed with respect to population size using a quadratic regression model. Regression analyses were also used to examine the relationship of marital exogamy with two measures of geographic distance--average distance to all other parishes and nearest-neighbour distance. Analysis of variance was used to examine temporal trends. Multiple regression analyses were used to examine all of these factors simultaneously. Marital exogamy is highest in smaller and larger populations, and less in medium-sized populations. Higher exogamy rates in small populations are related to the lack of available mates in small groups. Higher exogamy rates in larger populations may reflect economic attraction of larger groups. Exogamy rates are lower in the more geographically isolated parishes. From 1750 through 1899 there is little change in exogamy rates, whereas exogamy rates double after 1900. This temporal change reflects changes in transportation technology and other cultural factors promoting increased migration. The multiple regression model shows population size, geographic distance, and temporal change are all significant correlates of exogamy, collectively explaining a large percentage of variation in rates (R2 = 0.79).
Height measurements taken in a mixed longitudinal manner on 1084 German-born boys aged 7 to 21+ at the Carlschule Academy in Stuttgart during the period 1771-93 have been examined. The boys can be divided into upper (aristocrat), middle and lower (artisan, servant) classes, nearly all housed and fed in this boarding school. Preece-Baines curves have been fitted to a subsample of 155 boys whose measurements cover at least the period 12-16 years at a density of two or three per year. In addition, the whole data, totalling 11,040 observations, have been examined as if purely cross-sectional; and the height-at-entry measurement for each of 670 students has been examined. The results of the longitudinal subsample and the cross-sectional analyses agree reasonably well. Social class differences existed both in tempo of growth as signified by age at peak height velocity, and in adult height. The longitudinal analysis gives adult differences of about 2 cm between upper and middle classes and a further 2 cm between middle and lower, even amongst these boys all resident in the same, very privileged, school. Tempo differences between upper and middle class were minor, amounting to only 0.3 year, but lower-class boys had their maximum growth increment about a year later than the others. Amongst middle classes a secular trend of about 2 cm averaged over all ages was found between those born before 1770 and those born later. This mainly represents a trend in tempo rather than in adult height. The heights of these boys are compared with those of contemporary Austrian upper and lower classes, English upper and lower classes, American Army cadets, and American slaves. The increase in German middle-class heights during the 18th century indicates that this group was improving its nutritional status and well-being, at a time when the heights of the remainder of the population were constant or declining. This is evidence in favour of the view that at the beginning of economic development the distribution of income tends to become more skewed.
The establishment of the genealogies and biographies of inhabitants of selected villages from the Haut-Jura from the 17th century up to the present day has enabled us to demonstrate the major role of immigration on the genetic structure of a population. The evaluation of the effective descendance of native versus immigrant couples shows the imbalance of demographic contribution in favour of the first category. Immigrant couples account for 26% of all couples with at least one offspring in the valley, but account for 7.2% of all couples with an effective descendance. In our opinion, this effective immigration reflects in a much better way the measurement of immigration impact on population genetic parameters, especially the genetic 'opening' of the population due to immigration. This measurement of the effective descendance divides the population into two major groups: a core of stable lineage characterized by 70% of couples with an effective descendance, 'surrounded' by an unstable group from which only 30% of couples have an effective descendence in the population. Furthermore, from any given point in time this difference between the two groups can be observed among their descendants during the following generations. The existence of such a core can be explained by the social history of the valley, and shows that any specific unfavorable genetic fostered by the core can be locked within the population and transmitted throughout generations.
Family studies provide support for a modest genetic influence on offspring life span, although the magnitude of these correlations is small.
The study aimed to clarify the relative contributions of parental age at birth and overall parental longevity on offspring lifespan, and to identify the biological and cultural mechanisms.
Information was derived from two village genealogies (1650-1927) encompassing 9979 births (5315 males, 4664 females). Data selection was guided by the inclusion of information about parental age at birth and lifespan, offspring lifespan and cohort-specific life expectancy.
Parental age at reproduction displayed a negative association with offspring survivability, which was caused by a host of biological as well as environmental factors. In contrast, parental lifespan was positively associated with offspring age at death. These effects differed by parent's and child's sex.
The maternal age effect on female progeny is thought to be indicative of a preferential genetic load. From an evolutionary point of view, direct selection for maternal lifespan may be an adaptive strategy to enhance child survival prospects.
Many authors stressed the importance of considering mating patterns, migration and consanguinity when analysing micro-geographic differences in the distribution of the frequency of genetic traits (thalassaemia and glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD) in populations living in areas of past malarial endemy. Therefore, the present work was aimed at estimating the reproductive isolation of Calabria, an Italian region that experienced endemic malaria until very recently. The research was carried out on 15311 records of marriage from Parish Books of four villages located in the past malarial area, and four situated in the non-malarial region. Endogamy rates were high in every village and decreased only in the present century as a consequence of the breakdown of isolation. In the earlier periods, the rates ranged between 93-84% in non-malarial villages, and between 96-66% in the past malarial area. The rate of consanguineous marriages was low in all villages: in the malarial area it was 2.15% on average, whereas in the non-malarial villages it ranged between 2-16%. Its trend increased with time almost everywhere. Concerning values, differences between past malarial and non-malarial villages in earlier periods are not consistent as they ranged from 0.1 x 10(-3) to 1 x 10(-3). In the present century, however, a was higher in the non-malarial villages. Observed changes of the coefficient a since the 19th century are due to the increased frequency of first cousin marriages. Isonymy rates were lower than 2% in all past malarial towns in all periods, whereas in nonmalarial villages they ranged between 1.2-9.5% and increased with time. Inbreeding coefficients F are always higher than alpha values, but show the same trend with time. They were between 0.0006-0.0045 in past malarial towns, and between 0.0017-0.024 in non-malarial villages. In non-malarial villages Fn displayed noticeable negative values in two situations in the earlier periods. In conclusion, given the above mating patterns and the observed distribution of frequencies of G6PD deficient hemizygous and thalassemic heterozygous in the investigated villages, there is clear evidence in this area for the absence of any specific role of reproductive isolation and consanguinity on the distribution of genetic traits related to past malaria presence.
A large incremental increase in BMI indicates excess fat deposition in most children, but the reference values for identifying those at risk for developing obesity have not been defined.
To determine the mean and SD of annual incremental change (ΔSDS) in BMI for Japanese school children.
A cohort of 669 Japanese children in one private school in Tokyo in whom height and weight were measured annually between 6-17 years of age. Each child's BMI was converted to SDS as based on the 1978-1981 Japanese references for the 12 annual measurements to derive the correlation coefficient, r, between two successive measurements. Using the formula, SD of ΔSDS = √2(1-r), the mean and SD of ΔSDS were obtained.
Excess BMI gain was defined in terms of ΔSDS in Japanese children. Annual incremental increase greater than 2 SD of ΔSDS, equivalent to 1-2 BMI units/year for younger children and 2-3 BMI units/year for older children, respectively, indicates rapid increase in body fat in Japanese children.
Based on analysis of incremental change in BMI in this cohort, a cut-off has been identified that can be used to identify children at risk for developing obesity.
Verbal and inductive test results have been collected for a group of male twins in grade 5 at 12 years of age and at enrollment to military service at 18 years of age. MZ twin pairs tend to get progressively more concordant for both verbal and inductive ability from age 12 to 18. DZ twins, on the other hand, get progressively more concordant for inductive ability, while they tend to get less concordant for verbal ability. The results are interpreted with reference to a model taking heredity-environment interaction into account. The discordant trend found when comparing intra-pair similarity in verbal ability for MZ and DZ twins thus seems to indicate the presence of interactional and correlational effects. For inductive ability, however, the difference between within-pair correlations for MZ and DZ twins tends to be of the same magnitude at both 12 and 18 years of age. Probably this type of test is less differentially influenced by the environments being sampled, at least under present circumstances, when children are not specifically trained to solve the kind of items included in the inductive test. Regression effects for the two tests and possible explanations to the increase from age 12 to 18 in both MZ and DZ within-pair similarity for inductive test scores are discussed.
An 18-month study was conducted from February 1989 to August 1990 to examine the effect of regular deworming on child growth and nutritional status. A sample of 1402 children, from 2 to 6 years old, were divided into a treatment group and a control group. The 688 children in the treatment group received a 500 mg single dose of mebendazole, while the 714 children in the control group were given a placebo. Height, weight and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) were measured on monthly household visits. Growth was measured in terms of the change in height-for-age, weight-for-age, weight-for-height and MUAC over 18 months. The initial prevalence of infection was estimated from a random sample of 96 children (49 treated, 47 control). The initial overall prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworm was 71, 44 and 10% respectively. The final prevalence of infection, estimated from a random sample of 265 children, was A. lumbricoides 6%, T. trichiura 6% and hookworm 2% in the mebendazole group compared with 64, 18 and 19% respectively in the placebo group. Despite the successful treatment of helminths, there was no significant improvement in the growth of treated children compared with their untreated counterparts in terms of the change in z-scores of height-for-age, weight-for-age, weight-for-height and MUAC. The factors which may have contributed to this outcome are discussed.
Obesity constitutes one of the most important worldwide public health concerns.
To develop BMI percentile curves by age, sex and urban-rural regions for Beijing children and compare the results with Chinese national data and international references.
Subjects and methods:
Boys (4078) and girls (4077), aged 6-18 years, were recruited from 1 September to 30 November 2005 in Beijing, China. BMI percentile curves were constructed using the LMS method.
BMI curves differed between boys and girls. BMI curves for urban children were higher than rural children at the upper percentile. Beijing BMI curves were higher than the Chinese national level. Beijing boys had a higher BMI in medium (6.5-14 years) and upper percentiles and a lower BMI in lower percentiles than WHO and developed references, whereas Beijing girls were lower in medium and lower percentiles, but higher compared to a WHO reference before age 15.5 years in upper percentiles.
Beijing children are fatter than the Chinese national level. Beijing urban children are fatter than rural Beijing children. The polarization of BMI values for Beijing boys suggests these children face a dual-burden of nutrition. Effective policies and interventions to control obesity and underweight in Chinese children are necessary.
Hypervariable minisatellites are considered as useful genetic markers in population studies because they are highly polymorphic, multiallelic and co-dominant in nature. The D1S80 minisatellite is one of the well studied markers, and has been used for differentiating population groups of various geographic, linguistic, cultural and genetic origins.
The present study reports the genetic variation observed at the D1S80 minisatellite among seven anthropologically distinct ethnic groups from Kerala state in south India and is compared with other reported Indian and world populations.
DNA was isolated from the peripheral blood samples of 282 random, normal and healthy volunteers, PCR amplified and electrophoresed on 4% PAGE followed by silver staining.
A total of 22 alleles (14-39 repeats) were detected with high heterozygosity (0.63-0.84) and Polymorphic Information Content (PIC) values (0.63-0.83). Allele 18 was the predominant allele, except in Ezhavas. The comparison of allele frequency data with world populations including other studied Indian ethnic groups has revealed that the majority of Indian populations possessed allele 18 as the predominant allele. In contrast, allele 24 was reported to be the predominant allele worldwide with a few exceptions.
This study at the D1S80 minisatellite on seven ethnic groups will provide useful information for the Indian population genetic database. However, the most important observation was the predominance of allele 18 among the majority of Indian ethnic groups. The reason is not clear yet and thus further studies on Indian ethnic groups from different regions are necessary to find out the importance of allele 18 as the predominant allele in Indian population.
Asian Indians as an ethnic group are at particularly high risk of insulin resistance and central obesity. It is now emerging convincingly that these disorders begin in childhood. No satisfactory reference curves and cut-off points for overall or central adiposity exist for Indian children.
To present reference curves and age- and sex-specific cut-off points for the body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) of affluent Asian Indian children.
Cole's LMS method was applied to longitudinal data on a cohort of 320 affluent, physically active children representing the five major geographical regions of India to derive smoothed BMI and WC centile curves. Age- and sex-specific cut-off points for overall and central adiposity were derived by identifying centiles analogous to adult Asian Indian cut-off values.
Adult BMI cut-offs for overweight/obesity corresponded to the 87(th)/96(th) and the 82(nd)/93(rd) centiles in boys and girls, respectively. Adult WC cut-offs for men and women corresponded to the 95(th) and 96(th) centiles in boys and girls, respectively. Age- and sex-specific BMI and WC cut-off points for Asian Indian children aged 3-18 years are described for the first time.
These reference data could be used to identify affluent Asian Indian children with an elevated risk of developing obesity-related disorders and provide a baseline for future studies.