Estimating body height from ulna length: need of a population-specific formula

Izzet Duyar, Can Pelin

Abstract


In forensic work, it is important to be able to estimate body height from a variety of bones. It is well known that estimates based on upper limb long bone measurements are highly accurate. This report describes an equation devised for height estimation in the Turkish population based on ulna length, and compares the results with ulna-based formulae developed for several other populations. Anthropometric measurements were recorded for 254 healthy male subjects aged 18-45 years. The subjects were randomly divided into equal-sized study and control groups. A population-specific formula for height was created based on ulna length of the subjects in the study group. This formula and 14 other formulae reported in the literature were applied to the control group and the mean estimation errors were statistically compared. Analyses indicated that the population-specific equation gave the most accurate results. In addition, the formula devised by Trotter and Gleser for Mongoloids yielded more reliable results than other formulae. The Trotter-Gleser formulae for whites are the ones most frequently used in Turkey today; however, these equations do not yield reliable height estimates for our population.


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