A survey of statural changes with age in the adult population of the United States

Gladys Perez Rodriguez, The University of Texas School of Public Health


A study of the patterns of height loss with age in the Anglo, black, and Mexican-American populations of the United States has been undertaken. The study was based on data gathered by the United States Public Health Service in the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Estimates of height loss were obtained by subtracting present stature from a calculated maximum attained height derived from sex- and race/ethnic-specific regression equations relating stature to subischial length. Anglo women have greater height losses than Anglo, black, or Mexican-American males, and black or Mexican-American females. Between 24 and 74 years of age, Anglo women average 3.8 cm. loss in stature. The black populations lose less height than Anglos or Mexican-Americans. Mexican-Americans lose less height than Anglos from 24 to 54 years and then have a greatly increased height loss so that by age 74 their total height loss is the same as Anglos. Standing height, sitting height, body mass index, and the Poverty Index were found to be negatively correlated with height loss. Age was positively correlated to height loss. The most important determinants of the magnitude of height loss with age were sex and ethnicity.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez, Gladys Perez, "A survey of statural changes with age in the adult population of the United States" (1991). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9219867.