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Change in mean height of Thai military recruits from 1972 through 2006.

Seubsman SA, Sleigh AC - J Epidemiol (2009)

Bottom Line: We compared the height trend in Thailand to those noted in Europe, and discuss the former in the context of improvements in living circumstances in Thailand.Over this period child nutrition improved, infection and mortality rates declined, and preventive health services expanded.The combined effect of these factors is indicated by the increased adult height of Thai military recruits.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Human Ecology and Thai Health Promotion Centre, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Nonthaburi, Thailand.

ABSTRACT

Background: Records in Western countries reveal that adult height has been increasing over the last 250 years. These height gains have been biologically associated with healthier childhoods, less illness, and longer life spans-a health-risk transition. To measure such progress in Thailand we studied height change over the last 3 decades.

Methods: We analyzed height records for 33 000 21-year-old male military recruits, sampling 1000 per year from 1972 through 2006. We compared the height trend in Thailand to those noted in Europe, and discuss the former in the context of improvements in living circumstances in Thailand.

Results: Over 35 years, mean height increased from 164.4 to 169.2 cm, an increment of nearly 5 cm. The height increase was negligible in the first decade (1972-1981), but substantially accelerated after that. In the period after 1990 the increase exceeded 3 cm. A similar overall height gain in Britain occurred over a much longer period (1750-1886).

Conclusions: The increase in height among Thai men is biological evidence that a Thai health-risk transition-defined by both changing risks and outcomes-is well underway for height. Military recruits born during the 1960s through the 1980s had progressively healthier childhoods. Over this period child nutrition improved, infection and mortality rates declined, and preventive health services expanded. The combined effect of these factors is indicated by the increased adult height of Thai military recruits.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Distribution of height in cm among 21 year-old military recruits, 1972 and 2006. n = 1000 in each year; line shows normal curve for 1972 (left) and 2006 (right)
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fig01: Distribution of height in cm among 21 year-old military recruits, 1972 and 2006. n = 1000 in each year; line shows normal curve for 1972 (left) and 2006 (right)

Mentions: Figure 1 shows the height distributions of Thai military recruits at the start and end of the study period. Normal curves fit well to the distributions (skewness ≤0.02, kurtosis ≤0.02), which is statistical evidence that no height subgroup was excluded. The distributions also show that a population-wide height increase occurred over the 35 years observed and that the height distribution of 2006 was flatter and broader than that of 1972.


Change in mean height of Thai military recruits from 1972 through 2006.

Seubsman SA, Sleigh AC - J Epidemiol (2009)

Distribution of height in cm among 21 year-old military recruits, 1972 and 2006. n = 1000 in each year; line shows normal curve for 1972 (left) and 2006 (right)
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3924109&req=5

fig01: Distribution of height in cm among 21 year-old military recruits, 1972 and 2006. n = 1000 in each year; line shows normal curve for 1972 (left) and 2006 (right)
Mentions: Figure 1 shows the height distributions of Thai military recruits at the start and end of the study period. Normal curves fit well to the distributions (skewness ≤0.02, kurtosis ≤0.02), which is statistical evidence that no height subgroup was excluded. The distributions also show that a population-wide height increase occurred over the 35 years observed and that the height distribution of 2006 was flatter and broader than that of 1972.

Bottom Line: We compared the height trend in Thailand to those noted in Europe, and discuss the former in the context of improvements in living circumstances in Thailand.Over this period child nutrition improved, infection and mortality rates declined, and preventive health services expanded.The combined effect of these factors is indicated by the increased adult height of Thai military recruits.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Human Ecology and Thai Health Promotion Centre, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Nonthaburi, Thailand.

ABSTRACT

Background: Records in Western countries reveal that adult height has been increasing over the last 250 years. These height gains have been biologically associated with healthier childhoods, less illness, and longer life spans-a health-risk transition. To measure such progress in Thailand we studied height change over the last 3 decades.

Methods: We analyzed height records for 33 000 21-year-old male military recruits, sampling 1000 per year from 1972 through 2006. We compared the height trend in Thailand to those noted in Europe, and discuss the former in the context of improvements in living circumstances in Thailand.

Results: Over 35 years, mean height increased from 164.4 to 169.2 cm, an increment of nearly 5 cm. The height increase was negligible in the first decade (1972-1981), but substantially accelerated after that. In the period after 1990 the increase exceeded 3 cm. A similar overall height gain in Britain occurred over a much longer period (1750-1886).

Conclusions: The increase in height among Thai men is biological evidence that a Thai health-risk transition-defined by both changing risks and outcomes-is well underway for height. Military recruits born during the 1960s through the 1980s had progressively healthier childhoods. Over this period child nutrition improved, infection and mortality rates declined, and preventive health services expanded. The combined effect of these factors is indicated by the increased adult height of Thai military recruits.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus