Secular changes in body dimensions and sexual maturation in children of Arkhangelsk city
Godina, Elena Z.; Khomyakova, Irina A.; Zadorozhnaya, Ludmila V.
Summary The aim of the present study was to analyze secular changes in body measurements in children of the Arkhangelsk city from 1988 to 2010. A large number of anthropometric measurements were taken on each individual including height, weight, arm, leg and trunk lengths (estimated), body diameters and circumferences, skinfold thickness. Stages of secondary sex characteristics were also evaluated; data on menarcheal age were collected by status-quo method. It was shown that main differences in stature occurred at puberty while in elder children (16–17-year-olds) no statistically significant differences were found. The same pattern was typical for weight and BMI. Chest circumference significantly increased, particularly in girls. For modern children, changes in body proportions due to a bigger trunk length were typical. There were also significant differences in the distribution of subcutaneous fat layer: in modern children bigger fat accumulation was present on the trunk, particularly in abdomen area, vs. fat layer on the extremities. Process of sexual maturation according to mean ages of development of secondary sex characteristics occurred earlier in modern adolescents, which is more expressed in girls. The results can be interpreted in terms of ongoing secular trend.