Evaluation of juvenile stature and body mass prediction



This investigation evaluates the performance of juvenile stature (from tibia and radius lengths) and body mass (from breadth of the femoral distal metaphysis) prediction equations based on the Denver Growth Study sample (Ruff C. 2007. Am J Phys Anthropol 133 698–716). The sample used here for evaluation is an independent sample of juveniles brought to the Franklin County (Ohio) Coroner in 1990–1991. The Ohio sample differs somewhat from the Denver reference sample: it includes ∼25% African-Americans (rather than all European-Americans), a significant number of right limb bones were measured (rather than all left side), it includes a wider range of economic statuses and it includes individuals who died from disease and trauma. As such the composition and measures of the Ohio sample correspond more generally to that seen in skeletal samples so that the accuracy of the estimates from the present sample should approach those found in practical applications of these methods. Results indicate that both juvenile body mass and stature are estimated relatively accurately. Accuracy of body mass estimates for 1-13-year-old juveniles is similar for African-American and European-American males and females. The least accurate estimates are for individuals in the 8–13 years age class (excluding individuals with body mass indices greater than the age specific 95th percentile): n = 9, ± 2.9 kg, 95% confidence interval 1.4–4.4 kg. Accuracy of stature estimates for 1-17-year-old juveniles is comparable for the tibia and radius and, as with body mass estimates, are similar for African-American and European-American males and females. For combined age, sex, and ancestry groups average accuracies are in the ±3.5 to ±6.5 cm range. Some limitations of the methods are discussed. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.