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Changes in body height among selected ethnic groups.
  1. A Laor,
  2. D S Seidman,
  3. Y L Danon
  1. Division of Paediatric Immunology, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Rogoff Wellcome Institute of Medical Research, Petach-Tikva, Israel.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to assess the effects of genetic factors and environmental influences on adolescence body height. DESIGN--The study was a retrospective survey of mean standing height collected from computerised medical draft records of 17-18 year old adolescents, born between 1950 and 1971. SETTING--All the studied population is resident of the state of Israel. PARTICIPANTS--About half a million records of recruits were examined. The sex distribution was: 61% male, 39% female. Ethnic distribution of the studied population was according to the countries of origin: Poland 7.8%, Romania 22.0%, Yemen 11.4%, Iraq 17.5%, Morocco 27.4%, and Israel 7.8%. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--Marked differences in standing height measures were found between the ethnic groups compared to the Israeli reference group. A linear increase of 1.1 mm/year for reference males and 0.8 mm/year for the female population was found over the 22 years of study period. Ethnic groups with lower mean height were found to have a significantly greater increase in height during the period studied. CONCLUSIONS--Israel as an immigration country may serve as a model for the study of environmental and genetic factors. Under conditions found in Israel, body height continues to increase with year of birth, while significant differences in height between ethnic groups has diminished.

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