Poster Topical Area: Global Nutrition

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 583

P12-085 - Confirmation of predicted disparities in upper-to-lower-body segment ratios of children and adolescents in a multi-ethnic community on Guatemala's Caribbean Coast

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Background and Objective: In the Americas, Guatemala is the nation with the highest prevalence of stunting in children under the age of 5 y, with a national rate of 46.5%. The rate rises to 61.2% in the indigenous population. The sequelae of early linear growth retardation persist into childhood and later life, but without refined definitions. According to Bogin and Varela-Silva (2014), the height-loss in stunting is predominantly in the lower extremities, sparing the upper body. We perform an inter-ethnic comparative study of upper- and lower-body segments in children and adolescents using an innovative, photo-imaging procedure.

Methods: We analyzed 201, boy and girls aged 9-16 y. 119 were ethnically Garifuna and 82 were non-Garifuna. The standing height of subjects was measured to the nearest cm with a measuring-tape stadiometer. We took a sagittal photograph of each subject. After removing shoes, stepping onto a square pedestal and being marked at the iliac crest with a bright marking tape, subjects were photographed with arms crossed in the right saggital plane. To determine the ratio of upper- to lower-segments of the body, the crown-to-sole distance on the print photo was measured in mm, and an individual segmental ratio (upper-body to total-length ratio) was generated. Quantitative estimates in cm of length of the torso and lower extremities were made by applying the value of standing height. The Mann-Whitney U test was used for inter-ethnic comparison, whereas the Spearman Correlation rho was used to compare inter-observe differences in measurement.

Results: Inter-observer photo estimates in ratios were highly correlated (rho=0.994). Median upper-body to stature ratio was 0.541 and 0.600 (p < 0.001) for Garifuna and non-Garifuna youths, respectively. Median upper-body to lower-body ratios were 0.351 and 0.375 (p0.05, data not shown),

Sagittal photograph analysis is an effective method of assessing body proportions. Garifuna youth have a lower relative upper body length, which is driven exclusively by longer lower extremities.

Funding Source: Harold William Scholarship Fund

CoAuthors: Liza Díaz – CeSSIAM; Noel Solomons – CeSSIAM; Odilia Bermudez – Tufts University School of Medicine

Chinonso Nduaguba

Tufts Medical School
Jamaica Plan, Massachusetts