Lalhminghlua, Saiyed, Nayak, and Jani: Estimation of stature from outstretched arm span and measurement of component/s of upper limb in the natives of Gujarat


Introduction

The primary characteristics of identification are sex, age, and stature and according to the Bertillon system, the dimensions of the skeleton do not change after the age of 21 years, and also that the ratio in size of different parts to one another varies considerably in different individuals.1

Many a time, dismembered or mutilated bodies are recovered not only from the scene of a crime but also in mass disasters like earthquakes, landslides, bomb blasts, air crashes, and building collapse, etc. When an unknown decapitated body with an amputated trunk, limbs, or only parts of the body is available, it is always necessary and crucial to determine the identity of the deceased. Stature is one of the most important factors in determining a person's identity and its estimation from dismembered body parts can be done based on the ratio of the body part concerned with the entire body.2 The outstretched arm span and measurement of components of the upper limb are reliable indicators of stature. However, because of differences in geographical location, age, race, sex, and dietary habits, there is a wide range of stature, and it is impossible to develop a universal formula for estimating stature based on the above parameters for people living in different parts of the world.3, 4 Hence, a population based study is required to be carried out for establishing a formula applicable to population of a particular region.

Objectives

  1. To determine the average stature of an individual from the study group.

  2. To determine the average length of outstretched arm span of an individual and its relation with stature.

  3. To determine the average length of the middle finger of an individual and its relation with stature.

  4. To determine the average length of the hand of an individual and its relation with stature.

  5. To determine the average length of the forearm of an individual and its relation with stature.

  6. To determine the average length of the arm of an individual and its relation with stature.

  7. To determine the average length of the shoulder to mid suprasternal notch of an individual and its relation with stature.

  8. To compare our observation with observations of researchers from Indian Sub-continent / Foreign.

  9. To create a regional database for future medico-legal references.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine at a medical college in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The sample includes 100 females and 100 males MBBS students, natives of Gujarat in the age group of 18-24 years with normal physical development. Those students with a history of skeletal deformity, physical disability, those who were taking hormonal drugs, and non-consenting for participation were excluded. After taking approval from the Institutional Ethics committee, a study was carried out with prior informed expressed written witnesses consent from the participants. All the female subjects’ measurement was taken by the female examiner/in the presence of female attendant only. All measurements were taken three times and the mean of the three readings for each factor was taken into consideration.

Stature was measured by Rich bells stature meter by asking the subject to stand barefooted with both feet in close contact with each other, trunk braced along the vertical board and head oriented in - ear - eye plane by keeping the lateral palpebral commissure and tip of the auricle of the pinna in a horizontal plane parallel to the feet. The measurement was taken by bringing the horizontal sliding bar to the vertex.

Outstretched arm span was measured by asking the subject to stand with his/her back against the wall with arms spread against the wall at shoulder level and parallel to the floor with palms facing forward. An anthropometric rod was used to measure from the tip of the middle finger on one hand, across the front of the chest at the level of suprasternal notch, and to the tip of the middle finger on the other hand.

Length of the middle finger was measured from the proximal crease to tip of middle finger with palm facing upward on a horizontal plane by Vernier caliper.

Length of the hand was measured from the proximal crease of the wrist to the tip of the middle finger when the hand was held straight and stretched by using Vernier caliper.

Length of the forearm was measured by Anthropometric rod from the tip of olecranon process to the distal margin of the head of ulna (palpable on the dorsum of the wrist) with forearm flexed and semi pronated.

Length of the arm was measured by Anthropometric rod by measuring the distance between the inferior border of the acromion process of scapula to the external superior border of the head of the radius in arm adducted and elbow in a flexed position.

Length of the shoulder to mid suprasternal notch was measured by Anthropometric rod by measuring the distance between the acromion process and mid of suprasternal notch.

All the measurements were taken in centimeters. All the data were analyzed by SPSS Software version 26, the statistical data generated was deduced to linear regression formula for estimation of the stature of an individual from the outstretched arm span and the measurement of components of upper limb in male and female subjects.

Results

Figure 1

Age and sex wise distribution of subjects

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The majority of the subjects in the age group of 20 - 23 years were males while the majority of the subjects in the age groups of 18 - 20 years and 23 - 24 years were females as shown in Figure 1.

Among male subjects, 64% were from urban areas, 22% from semi-urban areas and 14% from rural areas whereas 74% of female subjects were from urban areas, 21% from semi-urban areas, and 5% from rural areas. In male subjects, 82% were right-handed and 18% were left-handed whereas 85% of female subjects were right-handed and 15% were left-handed. The majority of the male subjects (53%) were on a mixed diet while the majority of the female subjects (75%) were vegetarian.

Table 1

Comparison of various measurements in male and female

Measurement

Male

Female

Maximum (cm)

Mean (cm)

Minimum (cm)

Maximum (cm)

Mean (cm)

Minimum (cm)

Stature

183

169.8

158

175

156.57

145.9

Outstretched arm span

190

177.05

157.8

184.2

160.91

145

Right Middle Finger

9

8.08

7.1

8.1

7.37

6.5

Left Middle Finger

9.1

8.1

7

8.2

7.34

6.4

Right Hand

20

18.65

16.1

19.1

17.17

15.1

Left hand

20.6

18.73

16.5

19.2

17.14

15.1

Right Forearm

33.8

29.34

25.4

33.2

26.28

22.4

Left Forearm

33.7

29.16

25.3

33.2

26.24

22.4

Right Arm

41.3

36.401

29.5

37.7

33.198

26.5

Left Arm

41.6

36.4

29.4

38.3

33.28

26.4

Right Shoulder to mid suprasternal notch

22.8

18.33

15.1

21.2

16.53

13.2

Left shoulder to mid suprasternal notch

22.8

18.3

15.3

21.1

16.52

13.3

Table 1 shows that the mean stature of the male subjects was more than the mean stature of the female subjects. The mean length of the outstretched arm span, middle finger, hand, forearm, arm and shoulder to mid suprasternal notch was also more in the male subjects than in the female subjects but only a little variation between the right and the left side in both sexes.

Table 2

Linear regression value of stature vs outstretched arm span in male and female

Dependent variable (stature) (y)

Independent variable (x)

Male outstretched arm span (xasm)

Female outstretched arm span (xasf)

Intercept (a)

52.391

65.814

Regression coefficient (b)

0.6632

0.564

Correlation coefficient (r)

0.7546

0.7563

Coefficient of determination (r2)

0.5695

0.5724

t - value

8.5678

4.8799

SE of difference

0.846

0.889

Significance (P value)

<0.0001

<0.0001

Table 2 shows a statistically highly significant positive correlation between stature and the outstretched arms span in both sexes.

Figure 2

Stature vs outstretched arm span in male

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Figure 2 shows a scatter plot diagram and regression line showing a positive relationship between stature and the outstretched arm span in males.

Figure 3

Stature vs outstretched arm span in female

https://typeset-prod-media-server.s3.amazonaws.com/article_uploads/1c6ef167-b0d9-440f-a19e-98a69a337c09/image/6c0d1fd7-8de0-44b1-be4d-38578bcf477a-uimage.png

Figure 3 shows a scatter plot diagram and regression line showing a positive relationship between stature and the outstretched arm span in females.

Table 3

Linear regression value of stature vs length of shoulder to mid suprasternal notch in male

Dependent variable (stature) (y)

Independent variable (x)

Right shoulder to mid suprasternal notch length (xSmr)

Left shoulder to mid suprasternal notch length (xSml)

Intercept (a)

160.23

160.07

Regression coefficient (b)

0.5223

0.5317

Correlation coefficient (r)

0.1712

0.1723

Coefficient of determination (r2)

0.0293

0.0297

t - value

1.72

1.731

SE of difference

0.304

0.307

Significance (P value)

> 0.05

> 0.05

In males, stature and length of the shoulder to mid suprasternal notch of the right and left side have a statistically non significant positive correlation as shown in Table 3.

Figure 4

Stature vs length of right shoulder to mid suprasternal notch in male

https://typeset-prod-media-server.s3.amazonaws.com/article_uploads/1c6ef167-b0d9-440f-a19e-98a69a337c09/image/b8cdb7cb-9b12-45e2-8c4f-a0a4af707011-uimage.png

Figure 4 shows a scatter plot diagram and regression line showing a positive relationship between stature and length of the right shoulder to the mid suprasternal notch in males.

Figure 5

Stature vs length of left shoulder to mid suprasternal notch in male

https://typeset-prod-media-server.s3.amazonaws.com/article_uploads/1c6ef167-b0d9-440f-a19e-98a69a337c09/image/7cacef13-0961-44cc-97c6-70c137983af3-uimage.png

Figure 5 shows a scatter plot diagram and regression line showing a positive relationship between stature and length of the left shoulder to the mid suprasternal notch in males.

Table 4

Linear regression value of stature vs length of shoulder to mid suprasternal notch in female

Dependent variable (s tature) (y)

Independent variable (x)

Right shoulder to mid suprasternal notch length (xSfr)

Left shoulder to mid suprasternal notch length (xSfl)

Intercept (a)

143.39

143.49

Regression coefficient (b)

0.7971

0.7916

Correlation coefficient (r)

0.2447

0.2407

Coefficient of determination (r2)

0.0599

0.0579

t - value

2.498

2.455

SE of difference

0.319

0.322

Significance (P value)

< 0.05

< 0.05

In females, stature and length of the shoulder to mid suprasternal notch of the right and left side have a statistically significant positive correlation as shown in Table 4.

Figure 6

Stature vs length of right shoulder to mid suprasternal notch in female.

https://typeset-prod-media-server.s3.amazonaws.com/article_uploads/1c6ef167-b0d9-440f-a19e-98a69a337c09/image/7cbe710e-b769-4576-b684-1a537e583ed6-uimage.png

Figure 6 shows a scatter plot diagram and regression line showing a positive relationship between stature and length of the right shoulder to the mid suprasternal notch in females.

Figure 7

Stature vs length of left shoulder to mid suprasternal notch in female

https://typeset-prod-media-server.s3.amazonaws.com/article_uploads/1c6ef167-b0d9-440f-a19e-98a69a337c09/image/3788cbcc-15f1-4304-9148-500b530976e0-uimage.png

Figure 7 shows a scatter plot diagram and regression line showing a positive relationship between stature and length of the left shoulder to the mid suprasternal notch in females.

Table 5

Comparison of correlation between the stature and various parameters in male and female

Parameters

Sex (Male/Female)

Side (Right/Left)

Correlation Coefficient (r)

P value

Outstretched Arm Span

Male

0.7546

< 0.0001

Female

0.7563

< 0.0001

Length of Middle Finger

Male

Right

0.5528

< 0.0001

Left

0.5786

< 0.0001

Female

Right

0.4734

< 0.0001

Left

0.632

< 0.0001

Length of Hand

Male

Right

0.6897

< 0.0001

Left

0.6812

< 0.0001

Female

Right

0.7127

< 0.0001

Left

0.7451

< 0.0001

Length of Forearm

Male

Right

0.4995

< 0.0001

Left

0.4997

< 0.0001

Female

Right

0.6125

< 0.0001

Left

0.5958

< 0.0001

Length of Arm

Male

Right

0.4682

< 0.0001

Left

0.4853

< 0.0001

Female

Right

0.6297

< 0.0001

Left

0.6174

< 0.0001

Length of Shoulder to mid suprasternal notch

Male

Right

0.1712

> 0.05

Left

0.1723

> 0.05

Female

Right

0.2447

< 0.05

Left

0.2407

< 0.05

The outstretched arm span showed the highest correlation coefficient (r) with stature in which female showing a slightly higher correlation coefficient (r) than male, whereas the length of the shoulder to mid suprasternal notch showed the lowest correlation coefficient (r) with stature in which female showing a slightly higher correlation coefficient (r) than male as shown in Table 5.

Table 6

Regression equation for estimation of stature from outstretched arm span and components of upper limb

Variables

Right/Left

Male

Female

Outstretched Arm span

y = 52.391 + 0.6632 (xasm)

y = 65.814 + 0.564 (xasf)

Middle Finger

Right

y = 109.67 + 7.455 (xMFmr)

y = 107.91 + 6.6065 (xMFfr)

Left

y = 112.04 + 7.1259 (xMFml)

y = 101.79 + 7.46 (xMFfl)

Hand

Right

y = 76.549 + 5.0006 (xHmr)

y = 74.882 + 4.7565 (xHfr)

Left

y = 81.188 + 4.7323 (xHml)

y = 72.755 + 4.8901 (xHFl)

Forearm

Right

y = 120.63 + 1.6816 (xFmr)

y = 108.77 + 1.819 (xFfr)

Left

y = 119.27 + 1.7326 (xFml)

y = 110.86 + 1.7417 (xFfl)

Arm

Right

y = 119.3 + 1.3875 (xAmr)

y = 104.89 + 1.5482 (xAfr)

Left

y = 117.29 + 1.4433 (xAml)

y = 107.34 + 1.4792 (xAfl)

Shoulder to mid suprasternal notch

Right

y = 160.23 + 0.5223 (xSmr)

y = 143.39 + 0.7971 (xSfr)

Left

y = 160.07 + 0.5317 (xSml)

y = 143.49 + 0.7916 (xSfl)

Regression analysis was done and equations were derived for estimating stature from outstretched arm span and measurement of components of the upper limb for males and females as shown in Table 6.

Discussion

In the present study, the outstretched arm span in both sexes showed a statistically highly significant positive correlation with stature and this was similar to other studies conducted by Alam MT et al.5 in Uttar Pradesh, Barwa J et al.6 in Dehradun and Ter Goon D et al.7 in Nigeria. In the present study, the female outstretched arm span showed a statistically significant positive slightly higher coefficient correlation (r = 0.7563) with stature than the male (r = 0.7546), this was consistent with a study conducted by Alam MT et al.5 in Uttar Pradesh. But studies conducted by Barwa J et al.6 in Dehradun and Ter Goon D et al.7 in Nigeria showed that male outstretched arm span showed a higher correlation coefficient (r) with stature than in the female.

In the present study, the length of the right and left middle finger in both sexes showed a statistically highly significant positive correlation with stature and this was similar to previous studies done by Uzun Ö et al.8 in Turkey, Khan MA et al.9 in Jammu & Kashmir and Kuppast N et al.10 in Karnataka. The present study showed that the left middle finger of a male has a slightly higher correlation coefficient (r = 0.5786) with stature than the right middle finger (r = 0.5528), this was inconsistent with studies done by Uzun Ö et al.,8 Khan MA et al.9 and Kuppast N et al.10 The left middle finger of female showed a higher correlation coefficient (r = 0.532) with stature than the right middle finger (r = 0.4734) in the present study, this was consistent with studies conducted by Uzun Ö et al.8 among the Turkish population and Khan MA et al.9 in the population of Jammu & Kashmir but not with Kuppast N et al.10 in the population of Karnataka.

The length of the right and left hand in both sexes showed a statistically highly significant positive correlation with stature in the present study and this was similar to previous studies done by Uzun Ö et al.8 in Turkey and Wakode NS et al.11 in Maharastra. The length of the right hand in males showed a slightly higher correlation coefficient (r = 0.6897) with stature than the left hand (r = 0.6812) in the present study and this was similar to the study done by Wakode NS et al.11 but not with Uzun Ö et al.8 In female, the length of the left hand showed a slightly higher correlation coefficient (r = 0. 7451) with stature than the right hand (r = 0.7127) in the present study and this was inconsistent with studies conducted by Uzun Ö et al.8 in Turkey and Wakode NS et al.11 in Maharastra in which right hand showed a higher correlation coefficient (r) value with stature than the left side.

In the present study, the length of the right and left forearm in both sexes showed a statistically highly significant positive correlation with stature and this was similar to a study done by Uzun Ö et al.8 in Turkey. Potdar AB et al.12 also showed a statistically highly significant positive correlation of the length of left forearm with stature in both sexes in Maharastra. In the present study, the length of the right forearm in males showed a slightly higher correlation coefficient (r = 0.4995) with stature than the left forearm (r = 0.4977), this was similar to a study conducted by Uzun Ö et al.8 among the Turkish population. The length of the right forearm in females showed a higher correlation coefficient (r = 0.6125) with stature than the left forearm (r = 0.5958) in the present study, this was similar to a study conducted by Uzun Ö et al.8 In the present study, the length of the left forearm in females showed a higher correlation coefficient (r = 0.5958) with stature than the left forearm of males (r = 0.4977), this was inconsistent with a study conducted by Potdar AB et al.12 in Maharastra.

In the present study, the length of the right and left arm in both sexes showed a statistically highly significant positive correlation with stature and this was similar to other studies conducted by Uzun Ö et al.8 in Turkey and Airan N et al.13 in Uttarakhand. In the present study, the length of the left arm in male showed a slightly higher correlation coefficient (r = 0.4853) with stature than the right side (r = 0.4682), this was similar to study conducted by Uzun Ö et al.8 but not with Airan N et al.13 In the present study, the length of the right arm showed a slightly higher correlation coefficient (r = 0.6297) with stature than the left arm (r= 0.6174) in females and this was similar to studies conducted by Uzun Ö et al.8 and Airan N et al.13

To the best of our knowledge, there was no previous study on estimation of stature from the length of the shoulder to mid suprasternal notch. In the present study, the length of the left shoulder to the mid suprasternal notch in males showed a statistically non significant slightly higher positive correlation coefficient (r = 0.1723) with stature than the right side (r = 0.1712). In females, the length of the right shoulder to mid suprasternal notch showed a statistically significant slightly higher positive correlation coefficient (r = 0.2447) with stature than the left side (r = 0.2407).

Conclusion

It can be concluded that the mean values of stature, outstretched arm span, length of the middle finger, length of the hand, length of the forearm, length of the arm, and length of the shoulder to mid suprasternal notch were higher in males than in females and there is a definite correlation between stature and outstretched arm span and components of the upper limb. The outstretched arm span is the most reliable predictor of stature in both sexes whereas the length of the shoulder to mid suprasternal notch is the least reliable predictor of stature in both sexes. The regression formulas derived from this study can be used as a reference in the future for estimation of stature from outstretched arm span and measurement of component/s of upper limb in the natives of Gujarat for medico-legal purposes.

Source of Funding

None.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thanks Dr. Donald S. Christian, Associate Professor, Community Medicine Department, GCS Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre for his support in this study.

References

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NS Wakode SL Wakode DD Ksheersagar VD Tajane AN Jachak Prediction of Stature based on Measurement of Hand Length in Maharashtra RegionIndian J Clin Anat Physiol201523131510.5958/2394-2126.2015.00005.5

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N Airan AK Dwivedi AR Das SK Mishra N Airan Estimation of stature from length of arm in adult population of Garhwal region of UttarakhandInt J Biomed Res20167128426



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Received : 19-05-2021

Accepted : 16-06-2021

Available online : 12-07-2021


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https://doi.org/10.18231/j.ijfcm.2021.018


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