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Volume 80, 2017, Issue 2

Editor-in-Chief: Maria Kaczmarek

Editors: Maciej Henneberg , Sławomir Kozieł

Online: ISSN 1898-6773


Anthropol Rev 2017 © 2017 Polish Anthropological Society 


Body structure and maturation – the association with environmental factors
Joanna Nieczuja-Dwojacka, Anna Siniarska, Aneta Sikorska, Sławomir Kozieł

The main objective of the study was to determine the relationship between physique, maturation and some environmental factors. The study was conducted in Warsaw, between 2012 and 2013 in randomly selected schools. The material included 171 girls, aged 12–20 years. Body height and weight, upper and
lower extremity length, subcutaneous fat folds on arm, subscapular and abdominal, circumferences of arm, chest, waist and hip were measured. Body proportion indices were calculated. The questionnaire form provided information on parental education and profession, and the number of children in family. Girls were asked about age at menarche, number of daily meals, level of physical activity, participation is sport, and level of stress at home and at school. The principal component analysis was applied and 4 factors were extracted from the set of living condition characteristics (F1 – Parental education & father’s occupation, F2 – Mother’s occupation and the number of children, F3 – Stress, F4 – Physical activity and number of daily meals). Regression analysis allowed to evaluate the association of body build characteristics and age at menarche with the four factors. Factor 1 and 4 were the only ones which showed a statistically significant association with body build. The results showed that girls who were taller, with smaller arm and waist circumferences and less adiposity came from families with higher parental education and better father’s profession. Taller stature, longer legs and less adiposity characterized girls who were more physically active and consumed more than three meals a day.

Nutritional status among children and adolescents aged 6–18 years of Kolam tribe of Andhra Pradesh, India K.
K. Bharthi, Manisha Ghritlahre, Subal Das, Kaushik Bose

Malnutrition has become one of the serious problems among children and adolescents internationally, especially in developing countries. India, a developing country covers 40% of undernourished children of the world. In India, tribal population is among the most deprived and undernourished people. The present study shows the prevalence of undernutrition among Kolam tribal children and adolescents by comparing different Body Mass Index (BMI) cut off points. Age and sex specific nutritional status of studied population shows 15.01% boys and 18.35% girls are in Chronic Energy Deficiency (CED) III category, 16.22% boys and 19.32% girls are in CEDII, 31.71% boys and 2.72% girls are in CEDI only 0.96% boys and 1.69% girls are in overweight category respectively. Undernutrition is not limited to young children, even adults are also severely underweight in developing countries. Health and nutrition of today’s adolescent girls may have great impact on the quality of next generation. Proper nutritional programs and health policies are needed to be implemented among tribals to solve the problem of undernutrition and similar studies should be planned in other underprivileged sections worldwide.

Analysis of eating behaviors and eating habits, body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio in association with spirometry results of young adults
Edyta Dzięciołowska-Baran, Maciej Mularczyk, Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Sroka, Kinga Michnik, Ewa Rębacz-Maron

Behavior and eating habits stands as an important factor in terms of maintaining a good health condition in every age group. This involves optimal digestion, maintaining proper metabolism of the entire organism and thus maintaining proper body weight. It is especially important for students, as the increased mental activity results in increased energy expenditure. The state of body weight can affect the respiratory efficiency measured in spirometry. The aim of the study was to assessthe relation between behavior and eating habits, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and results from spirometry tests among young adults.
The study sample included 185 students from the University of Szczecin (mean age 21.2±1.3). Using a questionnaire prepared for the study, information on the eating plan of students for three consecutive days was collected. Dietary analysis was concerned with: eating in stressful situations, dieting, regularity of main meals, eating between main meals. Afterwards spirometry examination was performed along with a detailed measurement of body weight and height, waist and hip circumferences in order to calculate BMI and WHR index of each respondent. The data obtained was processed statistically. Significant correlations between FVC and “dieting” (Spearman’s rs=0.3) were recorded in the group of women. However, the association of other behavior and eating habits with spirometry parameters did reveal null results in both males and females.
Correct behaviors and eating habits at a young age affect spirometry parameters to a negligible extent. The absence of direct health related effects of bad consumption habits at a young age makes it all the more important to raise the awareness of students, that their current decisions will have an apparent effect in the future, maybe only after a few years.

Association between body size and selected hematological parameters in men and women aged 45 and above from a hospitalized population of older adults: an insight from the Polish Longitudinal Study of Aging (1960–2000)
Piotr Chmielewski, Bartłomiej Strzelec, Jolanta Chmielowiec, Krzysztof Chmielowiec, Krzysztof Borysławski

In elderly people, anemia occurs with increasing frequency with each advancing decade and can be a harbinger of very serious health conditions, including gastrointestinal bleeding, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and cancer. Therefore, age-dependant changes in hematological parameters deserve special attention. Nonetheless, very few longitudinal studies of aging have focused on possible associations between basic anthropometric characteristics and hematological parameters in older people. Here, we present some evidence that body size can be associated with red blood cell count as well as some other selected hematological parameters in adults aged 45 to 70 years. Longitudinal data on anthropometric and hematological parameters have been obtained from physically healthy residents at the Regional Psychiatric Hospital for People with Mental Disorders in Cibórz, Lubuskie Province, Poland (142 individuals, including 68 men and 74 women). The residents who took psychoactive drugs were excluded from the study. To evaluate the studied relationships, three anthropometric traits were used and three dichotomous divisions of the study sample were made. The medians of body height, body weight, and body mass index at the age of 45 years were used to divide the sample into: shorter and taller, lighter and heavier, and slimmer and stouter individuals, respectively. Student’s t-test, Pearson’s correlation, and regression analysis were employed. The results of the present study suggest that the relationship between body size and red blood cell count is slightly more pronounced in men and its strength depends on age. However, the correlations between body size and red blood cell count proved to be weak in both sexes. With aging, the strength of the relation decreased gradually, which might have been caused by the aging-associated changes in the hematopoietic system, anemia, or was an artifact. Further studies are needed to elucidate the unclear association between body size and hematological parameters in older adults.

Prevalence of obesity, central obesity, and associated socio-demographic variables in Syrian women using different anthropometric indicators
M Adel Bakir, Kholoud Hammad, Loreen Mohammad

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing globally in both developing and developed countries, especially, those with rapid cultural and social changes. The aims of current study were twofold: (a) to examine, for the first time in Syria, the prevalence of overweight, obesity and central obesity in Syrian women and obesity-related socio-demographic determinants, and (b) to establish a base line data about obesity related determinants needed to develop appropriate treatment and prevention strategies. Cross-sectional study with a randomly representative sample of 923 women aged 18–60 years was conducted. Waist (WC) and hip circumference (HC) were measured, and body mass index (BMI) waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. Socio-demographic data were collected with a designed questionnaire. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity in Syrian women as defined by BMI were 31% and 43%, respectively. The overall central obesity as defined by WC and WHR were 53% and 33%, respectively. The prevalence of obesity and central obesity were increased with age. WC and HC were strongly correlated with BMI. The mean BMIs and other anthropometric measurements were significantly higher in married, house wife, less educated, high parity, and low physical activity women. The results of this study indicate an increased rates of overweight, overall, and central obesity in Syrian women. Also, central obesity as defined by WC is higher than BMI derived obesity. In conclusion, WC is more appropriate to be used for obesity assessment, where, BMI underestimates the obesity prevalence among middle-age women. Development of appropriate treatment and prevention strategies are urgently needed to combat with increasing rate of obesity among Syrian women.

Anthropological analysis of projectile trauma to the bony regions of the trunk
Caitlin Humphrey, Maciej Henneberg

Ballistics literature often focuses on soft tissue injures and projectile trauma to the cranium. Minimal details on the bony characteristics of projectile trauma to the thorax/abdomen regions have been published. This study aims to analyse projectile trauma to the bony trunk region including the ribs, vertebrae, scapula, sternum and the hip bone to form a better understanding of the characteristics and biomechanics of skeletal trauma caused by a projectile and contribute to the existing database on skeletal trauma caused by projectiles. Fourteen cases of documented projectile trauma to the bony regions of the trunk from the Hamman-Todd Human Osteological Collection at the Cleveland Natural History Museum, Ohio were analysed. Of the 14 individuals with gunshot wounds examined, 40 wounds occurred to the bones.Twenty- four injuries to the ribs, 1 ilium, 11 vertebrae, 3 scapulae, and 1 sternum. Fracture patterns, heaving and bevelling can be used to determine the direction of travel of the projectile which can be evident on the ribs, sternum, scapula and ilium. It is critical to understand the wounding patterns associated with projectile trauma to the torso region as this is often targeted, due to being the centre of mass.

Evidence of tuberculosis among children in medieval (13th–15th century) Wrocław: A case study of hip joint tuberculosis in a juvenile skeleton excavated from the crypt of the St. Elizabeth church
Agata Izabela Cieślik

Paleopathological examinations of the skeletal remains of people who died centuries ago are material source of knowledge about health and diseases in the past. In this article, a case of skeletal tuberculosis from historical (13th–15th c.) Wrocław, Poland has been presented. The juvenile skeleton excavated from grave No 93, from the crypt located under the church of St. Elizabeth, displayed pathological lesions within the right hip joint resulting from a chronic inflammation, which might have been assigned to signs typical for skeletal tuberculosis. The results of macroscopic and radiological analyses appeared to be consistent, and allowed to determine a reliable diagnosis of this paleopathological case.

Study of skin of an Egyptian mummy using a scanning electron microscope
Hanna Mańkowska-Pliszka, Halina Przychodzeń, Michał Nawrot, Sylwia Tarka, Piotr Wasylczyk, Agnieszka Dąbkowska, Marcin Fudalej, Ewa Rzeźnicka, Dagmara Haładaj, Aleksandra Pliszka

The first study of modified human remains using an electron microscope was carried out at the end of the 1950 and in 1979 the first result of the study involving a scanning electron microscope (SEM) was published for the first time. The study was mainly focused on the structure of tissues and cells. With the help of this technique cell and tissue elements, viruses and bacterial endospores as well as the structure of epithelium and the collagen contents of dermis were identified and described. In the above-mentioned case the object of the study using a SEM was a free part of the right hand (forearm with the dorsal and palmar parts of hand) of unknown origin, with signs of mummification revealed during microscopic analysis. Our study was aimed at finding the answer to the question if the mummification of the studied limb was natural or intentional, and if the study using a SEM could link the anonymous remains with ancient Egypt.

Volume 80, 2017, Issue 1

Editor-in-Chief: Maria Kaczmarek

Editors: Maciej Henneberg , Sławomir Kozieł

Online: ISSN 1898-6773



Anthropol Rev 2017 © 2017 Polish Anthropological Society 


Growth and health status of children and adolescents in medieval Central Europe
Marta Krenz-Niedbała

Subadult growth and health have been analyzed in three cemetery samples from medieval Poland, including two early-urban sites: Cedynia dated to the 10th–14th centuries AD, and Ostrów Lednicki dated to the 13th–15th centuries AD, and a rural site Słaboszewo dated to the 14th–17th centuries AD. The nutritional status was not expected to have substantially differed among the settlements, due to the culturally induced undiversified diet of children, and predominant share of medium-to-low status individuals. However, city life and village life were supposed to differ in factors correlated with the spread of infections, and as such it was expected to find significant differences in respiratory health among early-urban and rural dwellers.The prevalences of diet-dependent diseases, scurvy and rickets, were found to be statistically indistinguishable among the three studied populations, while higher frequency of skeletal signs of poor respiratory health was observed in early-urban Cedynia than rural Słaboszewo. Slightly lower prevalences of skeletal stress indicators were found for the rural than the early-urban site. Skeletal growth profiles and the dynamics of long bone growth were found to be remarkably similar for the early-urban samples (Cedynia and Ostrów Lednicki), with the rural subadults having the shortest diaphyseal lengths, and lower growth dynamics.It can be concluded that adverse factors associated with the urban settlement were more detrimental to respiratory health than those in the village. A variety of factors are potentially responsible for this pattern, including population density, building structure, quality of air and water, sanitation, and occupation. Perhaps, the key factor in response to environmental and socio-cultural constraints was the stability of living conditions in the village, which allowed the inhabitants to develop sufficient adaptive mechanisms. In contrast, the history of strongholds such as Cedynia was changeable due to political situation, military threats and migrations of people.

Estimating age at death from an archaeological bone sample – a preliminary study based on comparison of histomorphometric methods
Barbara Mnich, Janusz Skrzat, Krzysztof Szostek

The estimation of age at death is one of the most fundamental biological parameters, determined on skeletal remains in anthropological context. That is why, there is a constant need to improve applied methods. Histomorphometry, which uses microscopic analysis of bone tissue is suggested to be one alternative method. In general, this technique is based on measurements and the determination of the number and density of basic bone structural units, osteons. Osteon density is found to be related with age of the individual. The main goal of this research was to compare results of determined age at death, on the basis of ribs histology, comes from methods proposed by different authors. We analyzed ground cross sections of ribs from archeological origin. The presented methodology is simple in use and effective. Four different methods were tested (Stout and Paine 1992; Cho et al. 2002; Kim et al. 2007; Bednarek et al. 2009). The obtained age results were compared with each other as well as related to the age estimated by standard macroscopic method used in anthropology. Bednarek’s method is recognized to be the most supportive for anthropological analyzes. Methodological issues connected with grinding methodology and results interpretation are also presented. Hypothesis about interpopulation as well as histological and dimorphic differences were confirmed.

Oxygen stable isotopes variation in water precipitation in Poland – anthropological applications
Aleksandra Lisowska-Gaczorek, Beata Cienkosz-Stepańczak, Krzysztof Szostek

The main objective of oxygen isotope analysis is to determine the probable place of origin of an individual or the reconstruction of migration paths. The research are methodologically based on referencing oxygen isotope ratios of apatite phosphates (δ18Op) to the range of environmental background δ18O, most frequently determined on the basis of precipitation.
The present work is a response to the need for providing background for oxygen isotope studies on skeletons excavated in Poland. Currently there no monitoring of the isotope composition of precipitation water in Poland is conducted. For this reason, based on the data generated in the Online Isotopes In Precipitation Calculator (OIPC), a database was developed, containing δ18O levels in precipitation for locations in which exploration work was carried out in the archaeological fields from Poland. In total, 279 locations were analysed. The result of the data analysis was a complete isotope composition map for Poland with four zones distinguished by δ18Ow values.
The observable differences in oxygen isotope composition of precipitation in Poland are sufficient to trace migrations of individuals and populations, although accurate only at the level of macroregions.

Exploring the association between body mass index and dental caries in 3–7-year-old children, living in Łódź, Poland
Agnieszka Bruzda-Zwiech, Beata Borowska Strugińska, Renata Filipińska,Elżbieta Żądzińska, Beata Lubowiedzka-Gontarek, Beata Szydłowska-Walendowska, Magdalena Wochna-Sobańska

Dental caries and childhood obesity are major problems affecting the health of children and preventing these conditions in children have been recognized as public health priorities (Hong et al. 2008; Odgien et al. 2010). The aim of the present study was to analyze the association between age-specific body mass index (BMI-for age) and dental caries in 3- to 7-year-olds. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 729 children from randomly chosen kindergartens and elementary schools in the urban area of Lodz, Poland. Anthropometric measurements were taken and the BMI-for-age was calculated for each child. Dental examinations were performed according to the WHO criteria. The sum of decayed, missing, filled primary/permanent teeth and surfaces – dmft/DMFT and dmft/DMFTS, and caries prevalence were computed. The percentage distribution of the BMI categories in the study group was: 72.7% normal weight, 8.92% underweight, 12.89% overweight and 5.49% obese. Caries prevalence in the primary dentition was significantly lower in underweight children than in those who were of normal weight (p=0.004) or were overweight (p=0.039). However, controlling for age and gender, no significant association was noted between BMI and caries prevalence in either dentition group. The Kruskal-Wallis test failed to reveal any significant differences in mean dmft across the four BMI groups in the whole population, nor within particular age groups, nor in DMFT in 5- to 7-year-olds. There was no association between BMI and dental caries either in the primary dentition or permanent teeth in the early period after eruption.

Use of upper arm anthropometry, upper arm muscle area-by-height (UAMAH) and midupper-arm-circumference (MUAC)-for-height as indicators of body composition and nutritional status among children
Sampriti Debnath, Nitish Mondal, Jaydip Sen

Upper arm anthropometry has a potential role to provide useful estimations of body composition and nutritional status. Aims of the present cross-sectional study were to assess body composition and nutritional status of rural school-going children using upper arm anthropometric measures such as upper
arm muscle area-by-height (UAMAH) and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) for-height. The present
cross-sectional study was conducted among 1281 children of West Bengal, India (boys 619, girls 662) aged 5–12 years and selected using a stratified random sampling method. Anthropometric measurements of height, weight, MUAC and triceps skinfold (TSF) were recorded. Body composition and nutritional status were assessed using upper arm muscle area (UMA), upper arm fat area (UFA), UAMAH and MUAC-forheight. Age-sex-specific overall adiposity in TSF, UFA, arm fat index and upper-arm fat area estimates were higher among girls than boys (p<0.01), but UMA and upper-arm muscle area estimates were observed to be higher among boys than girls (p<0.05). High prevalence of undernutrition was found among both boys (53.15%) and girls (41.69%) using UAMAH (p<0.01). The overall prevalence of low MUAC-forheight was higher among boys (28.59%) than girls (25.68%) (p>0.05). Upper arm anthropometric measures, UAMAH and MUAC-for-height are useful for assessment of body composition and nutritional status among children.

Relationship between body fat percentage determined by bioelectrical impedance analysis and metabolic risk factors in Syrian male adolescents (18–19 years)
Mahfouz Al-Bachir, Mohamad Adel Bakir

The association between increasing obesity and metabolic syndrome among adolescent and the adverse consequences in adulthood including type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease is well documented. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the major metabolic risk factors and some clinical important parameters in Syrian male adolescents (18–19 years old), and to assess the correlations between BF% determined by BIA-man prediction equation and metabolic risk factors in the same group. The correlations between body fat percentage (BF%) based on BIA-man predictive equations, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar (FBS), cholesterol (Chol), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), Hematocrit (Ht), and hemoglobin (Hb) in 1596 healthy Syrian adolescents aged 18–19 years and the mean values of these parameters were examined. Data showed that, DBP, Chol, TG, LDL and TG/HDL-C were significantly (p<0.05) higher in overweight and obese subjects in compression to normal weight cases. Whereas, SBP, FBS and Ht were significantly (p<0.05) higher in obese subjects in compression to normal weight. However, all measured variable related to metabolic syndrome risk factors increased with increasing the BF% determined by BIA-man. The present study suggests that % BF by BIA-man is a good predictor of metabolic risks factors for Syrian adolescents.

Body mass index, general fatness, lipid profile and bone mineral density in young women and men
Anna Kopiczko, Karol Gryko

The bone tissue is metabolically active. Throughout the entire life, it undergoes changes in the form of bone resorption processes which are successive, with the participation of the resorbing cells and bone formation processes. The aim of the study was to evaluate mineral density and bone mass tissue and the lipid profile, BMI, total body fat in young females and males. The study involved 100 people (50 females and 50 males) studying in Warsaw at the age of 23,2 ± 4,0 years. The densitometry method of the forearm was used for the assessment of bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mass (BMC). The method of bioelectrical impedance was used for the assessment of body components. Basic body dimensions and indicators were assessed using anthropometric measurements. Body height, body mass and the needs for the densitometry study of the forearm were measured. The total cholesterol concentration was determined in the blood serum using diagnostic kits, as well as high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) and triglycerides. The concentration of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) was calculated. While in men the occurrence of a significant, positive correlation was stated between the concentration of the HDL cholesterol fraction and the mineral density and T-score index in the ultra-distal point, the analysis of the compounds of mineral density (BMD), bone mass (BMC) of the forearm, T-score index with somatic features in women showed a significant, positive relation between the body weight and the bone mass mineral density and T-score indicator in the proximal point. Also, a significant weak, positive correlation was observed between the BMI, the mineral density and T-score indicator in the proximal point. In men, the occurrence of significant, positive correlations was stated between the body weight and BMC, BMD, T-score indicator in the proximal point of the forearm bone and ultra-distal point. Similar relations were observed between the BMI, mineral density, T-score and bone mass in the proximal point and in the ultra-distal point. Based on several noted weak, positive correlations between the lipid profile and BMD, the results of this study of women and men cannot unequivocally indicate the dependence of the bone tissue state on the lipid level in the blood serum of young women and men. Therefore, the issues raised require further investigation.

Intergenerational relations and child development in England
Antti O. Tanskanen

Evolutionary studies have shown that in many traditional populations the beneficial effects of grandparental presence for grandchildren may vary according to the sex and lineage of the grandparents, as well as by the sex of the grandchild. However, few studies have investigated the relevance of these factors in modern developed societies. The present investigation uses the Millennium Cohort Study (n = 4,636 children) to analyse the association between grandparental investment and child development in contemporary England. Grandparental investment is measured by parent-grandparent contact frequencies at the child’s age of 3 and child development by “early learning goals” over the first year of primary school assessed with the Foundation Stage Profile (FSP). Children whose mothers reported contacts with maternal grandparents receive higher FSP scores compared to those with no contact at all. In addition, children whose fathers reported daily contacts with paternal grandfathers have lower FSP scores than other children. The study provides evidence of the relevance of grandparental investment on grandchild development also in developed societies. The results are discussed with reference to the grandmother hypothesis, sex-specific reproductive strategies and sex chromosome hypothesis.