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The relationships between height and arm span, mid-upper arm and waist circumferences and sum of four skinfolds in Ellisras rural children aged 8–18 years

  • Kotsedi Daniel Monyeki (a1) and Michael Matome Sekhotha (a1)

Abstract

Objective

Height is required for the assessment of growth and nutritional status, as well as for predictions and standardization of physiological parameters. To determine whether arm span, mid-upper arm and waist circumferences and sum of four skinfolds can be used to predict height, the relationships between these anthropometric variables were assessed among Ellisras rural children aged 8–18 years.

Design

The following parameters were measured according to the International Society for the Advancement of Kinathropometry: height, arm span, mid-upper arm circumference, waist circumference and four skinfolds (suprailiac, subscapular, triceps and biceps). Associations between the variables were assessed using Pearson correlation coefficients and linear regression models.

Setting

Ellisras Longitudinal Study (ELS), Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Subjects

Boys (n 911) and girls (n 858) aged 8–18 years.

Results

Mean height was higher than arm span, with differences ranging from 4 cm to 11·5 cm between boys and girls. The correlation between height and arm span was high (ranging from 0·74 to 0·91) with P<0·001. The correlation between height and mid-upper arm circumference, waist circumference and sum of four skinfolds was low (ranging from 0·15 to 0·47) with P<0·00 among girls in the 15–18 years age group.

Conclusions

Arm span was found to be a good predictor of height. The sum of four skinfolds was significantly associated with height in the older age groups for girls, while waist circumference showed a negative significant association in the same groups.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email kotsedi.monyeki@ul.ac.za

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