Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 345
Background and Objectives: The armspan is an anthropometric measure which can be simply and accurately measured with a portable, mounted inflexible measuring tape. Its application has been in elderly populations to estimate cumulative senescent height loss, assuming that the ratio of armspan to height at the age of peak stature is 1.0. Only limited information is available on the armspan/height ratio evolution through childhood on the way to the maximal stature in young adulthood. We examined this process in multi-ethnic juveniles on Guatemala's Caribbean Coast.
Methods: We recruited 205 youths, boy and girls with ages between 9 and 16. 121 were of Garifuna descent and 84 were of non-Garifuna descent. The standing height of each subject was measured to the nearest centimeter with a measuring tape. Armspan was measured with arms at 90° to the body from the longest finger of the one hand to the longest finger of the other hand. It was measured to nearest centimeter using an inflexible measuring tape. Both of these measurements were used to calculate the armspan-to-height ratio. Statistical analysis was performed using Student t-test for difference between ethnicity, Lin Concordance Correlation for correlation between height and armspan.
Results: The Lin Concordance Coefficient (LCC) for the association of height with armspan was r=0.930 for all participants (n=212), with a value of r=0.938 for boys (n=110) and r=0.912 for girls (n=102). The LCC was r=0.900 and r=0.953, respectively, for the Garifuna (n=121) and non-Garifuna (n=84). Expressed as the armspan-to-height ratio, calculated on an individual basis, the descriptive data showed the overall mean was 1.019±0.027 (median: 1.017) with a range from 0.958-1.083. 78% of all ratio values were between 0.960 and 1.040. The respective descriptive data for Garifuna,1.026±0.266 (1.026) with range from 0.959-1.082, and non-Garifuna,1.009 ±0.023 (1.008) with range from 0.959-1.056, were statistically different (p<0.001)
Conclusions: As expected, height and armspan values are highly correlated in this unexplored age group. The armspan-to-height ratio is already very close to the touted value of 1.00 in children and youths of a multi-ethnic Caribbean coastal community in Guatemala, The ethnic factor was a significant determinant of the ratio.
Tufts Medical School
Jamaica Plan, Massachusetts