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Ann Hum Biol. 2011 Jan;38(1):39-52. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2010.487497. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Biometry and sexual maturity in a sample of Colombian schoolchildren from El Yopal.

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  • 1Auxology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia.



Biometric information obtained from cross-sectional studies works as a mirror of individual and collective life conditions at a given moment and allows assessment of secular trends in growth.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate growth and growth velocity for height and weight, to determine the BMI and the sexual maturation characteristics of a pre-selected urban sample of subjects from El Yopal and to compare the results with those from others countries.


In 2000-2001, 1039 schoolchildren (517 girls and 522 boys) were evaluated in the age range of 6-18 years. Low, medium and high socio-economic status (SES) were determined from monthly family income. Sexual development (Tanner-Whitehouse scale) and age of menarche (status quo method) were also determined. The LMS method was used to establish biometric centiles and the general logistic model was used to establish the median age for different stages of puberty.


Height, Girls: 155.4 cm, at 17.3 years with maximum yearly increment (myi) of 6.24 cm, at 11.10 years. Boys: 166.9 cm, at 18.0 years with myi of 6.48 cm, at 13.60 years. Weight, Girls: 52.5 kg, at 17.3 years with myi of 4.92 kg, at 11.98 years. Boys: 59.2 kg, at 18.0 years with myi of 4.88 kg, at 12.99 years. BMI at 18.0 years, Girls: 22.16 kg/m(2), Boys: 21.05 kg/m(2). Female puberty by stage of breast B2 began at 10.21 ± 1.16 years (mean ± SD). Male puberty by stage of genitalia G2 began at 11.53 ± 1.07 years.


The findings show lower height values and lower weight values, except for the Cuban reference, for both sexes; an early onset of puberty in girls and a prolonged puberty in boys when compared with other Caribbean, Central and South American females and males.

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