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Ann Hum Biol. 1999 Jan-Feb;26(1):3-18.

The growth and development of the Annals of Human Biology: a 25-year retrospective.


The history of the founding in 1958 of the Society for the Study of Human Biology is outlined, and the circumstances in which the Annals of Human Biology began publication in 1974. The contents of the papers published 1974-1997 are reviewed; about 40% concern Population Biology, 40% Auxology and 20% Population Physiology. Some outstanding contributions in the first two of these fields are mentioned. Many consist of groups of papers from an ongoing study: 11 papers from the Otmoor villages study by Harrison and colleagues, and 11 concerning the growth of children in the Zurich Longitudinal Study, by Gasser and colleagues. Papers concerning the analysis of growth data and modelling of the growth curve, especially by Healy, are noted, and papers giving evidence of mini-spurts in growth and the saltation-stasis growth model are recalled. Wilson's papers on catch-up and growth regulation in twins are reviewed; also the contribution to growth-as-a-mirror of social conditions by workers at the Stockholm Institute of Education. The National Study of Health and Growth, led by Rona, contributed 13 papers over 14 years to the Annals, and there were outstanding one-off papers from the National Child Development Study, and the Cuban National Growth Study of 1972, and concerning the secular trend towards greater leg length in Japan, the upward social mobility of the taller of pairs of brothers, the growth of 18th century children in Vienna and Stuttgart and the measurements of 19th century slaves in the USA.

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