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Am J Hum Biol. 2010 Jul-Aug;22(4):490-6. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.21024.

Offspring from endogamic vs. exogamic matings: Absence of anthropometric differences among Sardinian children (Italy).

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Dipartimento di Biologia Sperimentale, Sezione di Scienze Antropologiche, Università di Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy.


This study evaluates possible differences in body dimensions among children from matings of different exogamy levels. The cross-sectional sample consisted of 867 children, 435 males, and 432 females, 6-10 years old, attending elementary schools in the metropolitan area of Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia (Italy). The children were divided into two groups according to the level of exogamy. The first group consisted of children of parents born in the same Sardinian municipality and was considered endogamous sensu stricto. The second group included children of parents born in municipalities from different Sardinian linguistic domains and was considered exogamous. The Mann-Whitney test did not reveal significant differences between the two groups of children in the mean rank values of the 36 anthropometric variables considered, with the exception of cephalic circumference in males and chest depth in females. In particular, there were no significant differences for anthropometric variables considered to be indirect indicators of nutritional status: sum of skinfolds, waist/hip ratio, body mass index, total upper arm area, upper arm muscle area, and upper arm fat area. The results indicate that Sardinian children from marriages of different exogamy levels do not differ in body dimensions if they grow up with similar nutritional and socioeconomic conditions.

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