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Am J Hum Biol. 2001 May-Jun;13(3):323-40.

Growth of children in two economically diverse Peruvian high-altitude communities.

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Biostatistics and Research Data Systems, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.


The growth of children living in two high-altitude communities associated with an active copper mine in southern Peru was examined. In the community directly associated with mining operations, nutritional and health conditions were believed to be relatively favorable as a result of the substantial mine-related infrastructure that had developed over the previous 12 years. In contrast, few such benefits were available in the other community, which provides limited part-time labor at the mine. Anthropometric data, including measurements of height, weight, skinfold thicknesses, upper arm circumference, and chest dimensions, and determination of bone age, were collected from a total of 880 children between the ages of 4 and 18 years. There were significant differences between the two communities, with those in the mining community exhibiting significantly greater height and weight, a higher level of body fat, and more rapid skeletal development. Among children over the age of 12 years, a plateau in height was seen, suggesting that the benefits to growth resulting from mining-related development were more noticeable in younger children. Compared with Peruvian high-altitude populations examined during the 1960s, both samples from the present study were substantially taller and heavier, suggesting that despite local differences in socioeconomic conditions between the communities studied, overall conditions for growth are generally more favorable than those that existed among Peruvian high-altitude populations surveyed in the 1960s.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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