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J Forensic Leg Med. 2007 Aug;14(6):327-32. Epub 2007 Jan 18.

Estimation of stature from dimensions of hands and feet in a North Indian population.

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  • 1Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.


In medico-legal autopsies, establishing personal identity of the victims is often required. Estimation of stature from extremities and their parts plays an important role in identifying the dead in forensic examinations. The study examines the relationship between stature and dimensions of hands and feet among Rajputs of Himachal Pradesh -- a North Indian endogamous group. The purpose for understanding these examinations was the paucity in the literature of studies that allow the reconstruction of stature from various dimensions of hands and feet amongst Rajputs. Hand length, hand breadth, foot length and foot breadth of 246 subjects comprising 123 males and 123 females ranging in age from 17 to 20 years were taken independently on left and right side of each individual. Statistical analyses indicated that the bilateral variation was insignificant for all the measurements except hand breadth in both the sexes (P<0.01). Sex differences were found to be highly significant for all the measurements (P<0.01). Linear and multiple regression equations for stature estimation were calculated using the above mentioned variables. The correlation coefficients between stature and all the measurements of hands and feet were found to be positive and statistically significant. The highest correlation coefficient between stature and foot length and lowest SEE (standard error of estimate) indicate that the foot length provides highest reliability and accuracy in estimating stature of an unknown individual. The regression equations were checked for their accuracy by comparing the estimated stature and actual stature.

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