Alexandria Journal of Medicine

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Anthropometric dimensions of hand and foot as predictors of stature: A study of two ethnic groups in Nigeria

Patrick S. Igbigbi, Beryl S. Ominde, Chidinma F. Adibeli


Background: Anthropometry as a science deals with the study of human measurements with a view towards the understanding of physical variations that exist in human population groups. Estimation of stature is very important in the investigation process of unknown and co-mingled human remains in mass casualties and natural disasters. Stature or height therefore is critically essential in human identification.

Aim: This study was aimed at determining stature using the anthropometric measurements of hand and foot dimensions in two ethnic Nigerian populations.

Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study involving 384 Nigerian students selected using random sampling technique was used. These subjects were male and female volunteers of two ethnic groups’ aged between18 and 30 years. Cochran method for sample size determination was used. All measurements of hand and foot dimensions were recorded to the nearest centimetre using standardized anthropometric measuring equipment and the mean actual and estimated stature obtained.

Results: The study showed significant gender difference in mean right and left hand breadth but not the mean right and left hand length (P < 0.05). Similarly, there was a statistically significant gender difference between the mean right and left foot breadth (P < 0.05), but not between the mean right and left foot breadth and right foot lengths respectively (P > 0.05). The study further showed that in both gender, that breadth parameters showed stronger correlations in hand and foot dimensions. There was also a significant association between the mean left hand length and right and left hand breadth (P < 0.05) but not with the mean right hand length (P = 0.853). There was also significant association in the mean left foot length and the right and left foot breadths (P < 0.05) but not in the right foot lengths (P = 0.294). The mean estimated value of stature using linear and multiple regression equations for all parameters ranged from 164.53 cm to 165.57 cm while the mean actual stature from the study was 165.30 cm for all the subjects, specifically, 165.90 cm for the Igbos and 164.79 cm for the Isokos respectively.

Conclusion: Our study showed that stature can be accurately estimated using all hand and foot parameters and this is of medico-legal importance.

Keywords: Anthropometric dimensions, Stature prediction, Ethnic groups, Nigerians

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