Re-examination of secular change in adult Irish stature

Authors

  • John H. Relethford

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, State University of New York College at Oneonta, Oneonta, New York 13820
    • Department of Anthropology, State University of New York College at Oneonta, Oneonta, New York 13820
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Abstract

Data from a large cross-sectional study conducted in the 1930s were used to examine secular changes in adult stature in post-Famine Ireland. The sample consists of 4061 males and 804 females, who were 30 years of age or older at the time of measurement (mostly in 1935). The Himes–Mueller method was used to adjust stature for the effects of aging so that secular change could be assessed. The linear regression of adjusted stature on year of birth was significant for both males and females, and there was no significant difference in slopes between the sexes. These results show an increase in stature of approximately 0.35–0.40 cm per decade, which is not that different from increases found in other studies of 19th century European populations. No significant curvilinearity was detected. These results show that an earlier analysis of a much smaller portion of the sample was biased due to small numbers. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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