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Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2009 Oct-Dec;51(4):29-33.

Somatotypological characteristics of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Medical University Plovdiv, Bulgaria.



Human constitutional types are genetically predetermined and remains constant in their basic features. The type could be changed to a certain extent by environmental factors, diseases and some other factors.


To define the somatotype of children with type 1 diabetes mellitus and compare it to the somatotype of healthy children.


An anthropometrical study was performed in 71 boys and 69 girls with type 1 diabetes. The anthropometric measures including weight, height, corrected contracted arm girth, medial calf girth, triceps brachii, subscapular and suprailiac skinfolds, biepicondylar humerus breadth and biepicondylar femur breadth were taken to determine the somatotype. The somatotypes were determined according to Heath-Carter method (1967). The sample was divided into two age groups for both sexes: from 7 to 12 and from 12 to 18 years. One hundred healthy age-matched boys and girls were used as a control sample in the study.


The diabetic boys aged 7 - 12 years presented with balanced mesomorph somatotype (endo 2.7-meso 4.8-ecto 2.3), while the healthy boys were with endomorphic mesomorph somatotype (3.4-5.2-2.7). Both the diabetic and healthy boys aged 12-18 years presented with balanced mesomorph somatotype (3.1-4.2-3.5 and 3.4-5.0-3.2, respectively). The somatotype of the diabetic girls aged 7-12 years was balanced mesomorph (3.0-4.2-2.8). The healthy girls of the same age presented with the endomorphic mesomorph (3.7-4.9-2.7). The diabetic girls aged 12-18 years were with mesomorphic endomorph somatotype (4.9-3.7-2.5) and the somatotype of the healthy girls was mesomorph endomorph (4.5-4.1-2.9).


Mesomorphy was dominant in the diabetic and healthy boys. Mesomorphy was dominant in the diabetic and healthy girls aged 7-12 years. In the 12-18 age group endomorphy increased becoming dominant in the diabetic children and equal to mesomorphy in the healthy ones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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