Age-related changes and secular trends in hand bone size

L. Kalichman, I. Malkin, M. J. Seibel, E. Kobyliansky, G. Livshits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to evaluate age- and sex-related changes in the size and shape of long hand bones in a large Chuvashian cohort using cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs. The data were gathered in 1994 (557 individuals) and 2002 (513 individuals). The latter sample included 260 individuals that were studied only during the second expedition, and 253 individuals who were previously investigated in 1994. Statistical analyses included a maximum likelihood-based model-fitting technique and a t-test comparison. We found evidence for secular trend of hand bone size in both males and females within the Chuvashian population. In males, the length and total area of the long hand bones were greater in younger individuals, but mid-shaft bone width remained almost the same in individuals born at different periods of the last century. In females, the length of the hand bones and total bone area remained unchanged in women born after 1937. However, bone mid-shaft width gradually decreased in women born after 1940. Therefore, we argue that, at least within the Chuvashian population, there is a secular trend towards a more gracile appendicular skeleton in both males and females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-315
Number of pages15
JournalHOMO- Journal of Comparative Human Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


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