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Ann Hum Biol. 2013 Jan;40(1):9-14. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2012.720711. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Adolescent growth spurt and growth pattern factors related to the short stature of Pygmy hunter-gatherers of Southeast Cameroon.

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1
Graduate School of Health Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Many studies have been carried out to reveal the mechanism of the short stature of Pygmy hunter-gatherers in the African rainforest. However, due to limitations concerning age-estimation, sample collecting and data analysis, their complete growth pattern has not yet been clarified.

AIMS:

This study has three aims as below; (1) to develop a smoothed growth curve, (2) to elucidate the presence of adolescent growth spurt and (3) to assess the correlation of growth pattern factors to their final short stature.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Anthropometric measurements including height and weight were carried out for 626 Baka children in southeast Cameroon. LMS method and Preece-Baines function were adopted to develop a smoothed growth curve and to assess their growth pattern.

RESULTS:

The height velocity curve and acceleration curve derived from the LMS method showed the presence of an adolescent growth spurt. Biological parameters indicated their spurt was extremely weak and started at nearly the same time as published populations. Height gains between take-off and final height were almost equal between Baka children and children in published populations.

CONCLUSION:

The presence of a weak adolescent growth spurt is suggested in the growth pattern of Pygmy hunter-gatherers. Moreover, their short adult stature is possibly related to growth rate before onset of puberty.

PMID:
22966765
DOI:
10.3109/03014460.2012.720711
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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