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J Anat. 1998 Feb;192 ( Pt 2):279-85.

Patterns of sexual, bilateral and interpopulational variation in human femoral neck-shaft angles.

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Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA.


Data on femoral neck-shaft angles were collected for 30 modern, historic and prehistoric human population samples, and analysed with respect to sexual dimorphism, bilateral asymmetry, geographical patterning and general economic level. Although some samples had modest sexual dimorphism in this angle, and some individuals exhibited clear asymmetry, there were no consistent patterns of sexual or side differences across human populations. Similarly, there was no evidence for geographic differences, since broad regional groups lacked significant differences and mean angles were not correlated with latitude. However, there is a significant increase in mean neck-shaft angles across populations with an increasingly sedentary existence and with mechanisation. The last reflects the developmental plasticity of this feature with respect to habitual load levels during ontogeny of the hip region.

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