The effects of aging and secular trend on adult stature in rural western Ireland



Cross-sectional data, consisting of anthropometric measurements for 347 adult males and 261 adult females in western Ireland measured during the 1930s, were used to determine the effects of aging and secular change upon stature. Estimates of statural loss due to aging were obtained using partial regression of stature on age while controlling for subischial length, and regression of the difference between observed stature and maximum predicted stature on age. Males show the effects of aging to a greater extent than do females. After correction for the effects of aging, the adjusted values of stature were regressed on age to estimate secular trend of stature. For males, there is a general increase of stature with time, excepting those born around 1878, while females generally show random variation with time. Both male and female adjusted stature decrease sharply around 1878, for which alternative historical explanations are proposed, relating to differential migration and survival.