Forensic Science International 187 (2009) 109.e1–109.

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Forensic Science International
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/forsciint

Forensic Anthropology Population Data

Estimating stature from percutaneous length of tibia and ulna in Indo-Mauritian population
Arun Kumar Agnihotri a,*, Smita Kachhwaha b, Vandna Jowaheer c, Ashok Pratap Singh b
a

Department of Forensic Medicine, SSR Medical College, Postal Code: 230, Mauritius Department of Anatomy, SSR Medical College, Postal Code: 230, Mauritius c Department of Mathematics, University of Mauritius, Postal Code: 230, Mauritius
b

A R T I C L E I N F O

A B S T R A C T

Article history: Received 23 October 2008 Received in revised form 28 January 2009 Accepted 9 February 2009 Available online 14 March 2009 Keywords: Forensic Science Forensic Anthropology Tibia length Ulna length Stature estimation

Stature estimation from percutaneous body measurements forms part of forensic anthropological analysis for the purpose of identification. This study is aimed at modeling the stature on the basis of percutaneous tibial and/or ulnar length in human subjects comprising of Indo-Mauritian population. The study was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, SSR Medical College, Mauritius on 180 young and healthy students comprising of 90 males and 90 females in the age group ranging from 18 to 28 years. The measurements were taken by using standard anthropometric instruments. It is remarked that tibial as well as ulnar length show a linear relationship with the stature, where stature is normally distributed. However, it is required to transform the measurements on stature to obtain appropriate regression equations. Moreover, since ulna and tibia are significantly correlated, it is recommended to use the sum of the ulnar and tibial length to estimate stature, in case both are available for an individual. Our regression models are sufficiently validated and highly efficient. ß 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Estimating individuality on the mutilated part of a dead body is a difficult task in Forensic Medicine. The problem of identification mainly arises when unknown human remains are brought to forensic pathologists for examination. The stature of an individual is an inherent characteristic. It is considered as one of the important parameters for personal identification. There is an established relationship between stature and dimensions of various body parts, which allows forensic experts to estimate stature from different parts of the body. Many studies have been carried out to estimate stature from percutaneous body measurements [1–21]. Linear regression models are widely used to predict height of individuals on the basis of their body parts. In circumstances where only mutilated leg and/or forearm portions are available for a deceased person, it becomes quite challenging to formulate the proper and adequate regression models. Not much research work is done in this direction. In this paper we construct linear regression models to predict heights on the basis of ulna and tibia measurements for Indo-Mauritian population.

2. Materials and methods 2.1. Sample collection The study was conducted in the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, SSR Medical College, Mauritius in the year 2007. Mauritius is an island, geographically located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 2400 km off the south east coast of Africa. The material consisted of 180 young and healthy students (90 males and 90 females), in the age group ranging from 18 to 28 years. Each student has been studied for the measurements of stature, tibial length and ulnar length. The measurements were taken by using standard anthropometric instruments. 2.2. Techniques for taking measurements The measurements were taken by using standard anthropometric instruments, in centimeters, to the nearest millimeter according to the technique described by Vallois [22]. All measurements were taken by the same observer and with the same instrument, to avoid any technical and/or inter-observer error and to maintain reproducibility. During data collection, the instruments like sliding caliper, spreading caliper, etc. were regularly checked for their accuracy. Percutaneous tibial and ulnar lengths were chosen because their lengths could be easily taken in living individuals. Height of the subject was measured in standing position. The subject was instructed to stand barefooted on the board of a standard standiometer with both feet in close contact with each other, trunk braced along the vertical board, and the head adjusted in Frankfurt plane. The measurement was taken in centimeters, by bringing the horizontal sliding bar to the vertex. The length of tibia was measured as a distance from the inner border of the medial condyle to the farthest point of the medial malleolus. The measurement was taken on the sitting subjects with knees in semiflexed position. The length of ulna was measured as a straight distance from the most proximal point of the olecranon process to the most distal point of the styloid process, with the forearm flexed at a 908 angle.

* Corresponding author at: 4, Malherbes Street, Curepipe, Mauritius. Tel.: +230 6751318. E-mail address: agnihotri_arun@hotmail.com (A.K. Agnihotri). 0379-0738/$ – see front matter ß 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.02.010

Saxena. However.97). / Forensic Science International 187 (2009) 109. Limitation of study This study has been conducted mainly in Indo-Mauritian population. 132 (2003) 40–45. the fitted regression model is obtained as ˆ y ð2Þ analyzing data on tibial length.024.1. 4. Ahmed.G.0%. y represents stature. only ulnar length and ulnar as well as tibial length. the height is predicted. several models based on the predictors mentioned in this study cannot be compared blindly with each other. p-value = 0. It is observed that TL and UL are significantly correlated. Int.M. Koc [5] A. 98 (1998) 137–141. Moreover. Anz. Anthropol.1) Q 1=n ˙ ¼ð n and n = 160. References ¼ p-val¼0:000 À31:5 þ p-val¼0:000 1:82 TUL (1. E.009. Ozsahin. [3] A.P. such that yðlÞ ¼ yðlÞ À 1 ˙ lÀ1 ly (1.e3 Regression models are constructed to estimate stature on the basis of only tibial length. However. However. then how would one make a choice between two equations in order to predict height of the dead person by simply using percutaneous tibial length? Recently. Soames. the corresponding t-values and p-values are possible only if predictors are derived for the entire group 2 and not just for one actual observation.8%. pvalue = 0. and rather misleading to a great extent.2). el-Sharkawi. where l = 2.K. S. Thus two values of estimated heights are reasonable.008. This is because UL and TL are significantly correlated (p-val = 0. Similarly no significant differences were observed in the lengths of right and left sides of ulna in both males (mean difference = 0. Forensic Sci. 42 (1984) 271–276. N. S.3). Kizilkanat. R2 = 85. The models (1. y i¼1 yi Þ Hence. M. Abdel-Malek. Prediction of height from percutaneous tibial length amongst Oriya population. can be determined with fair degree of accuracy by using the model equations derived from the present study. This is because the model based on ulna is comparable to model based on tibia. Therefore other studies in different parts of the world are required to confirm whether it would be equally applicable elsewhere. estimate of stature can be obtained by using Eqs. I. Anat. [7] have proposed to use a stature-specific linear regression approach.T. Mohanty. O. It is concluded that the stature of a deceased person for whom only mutilated legs or arms are available. [6] S.2)–(1. 4. A transformation on the response variable stature is therefore identified from the family of power transformations using Box-Cox procedure. The hypothesis pertaining to the relationship of stature with the dimensions of different body parts is verified and supported by results.e1–109. it is recommended to construct a linear regression model using the variable TUL = TU + UL as a single covariate than constructing a multiple linear regression model with two covariates UL and TL. but it is certainly not possible to have two different values of the actual height of that person. In case.10 suggesting that all the models bear significant predictive ability.P. the estimate of stature can be directly obtained by using Eqs. hand breadth and sole length.e2 2. Is ¸ can. (1. Forensic Sci. Tibial length has stronger linear relation with stature as compared to ulnar length.4) [1] D.K. Boyan.2) R2 = 81. Int. 46 (1990) 181–187.857) and females (mean difference = 0.020. When stature is regressed on TL the regression equation does not satisfy the underlying assumption of constant error variance. M. Prediction of statue from hand measurements. TL and UL are all normally distributed. The relationship between tibial length (TL) and stature is linear in the Indo-Mauritian population. when stature is regressed on the TUL. Regression models A. The approach is statistically sound. failing which the comparison will lead to invalid conclusions. Identification of personal height from the somatometry of the hand in Punjabi males. Agnihotri et al. the fitted regression model is given by ˆ¼ y p-val¼0:000 60:4 þ p-val¼0:000 4:13 UL (1. Clin. A study of correlations and estimation of stature from hand length. Forensic Sci.Y.A.910). S. Int. (1.7]. Ozaslan. Stature estimation based on hand length and foot length. as well as stature-specific regression model. the application and validity of the stature-specific regression models as discussed by these authors are not convincing.4). H. Hence we have used right tibial length and right ulnar length for the construction of models. ˘ cu. M. The same pattern exists for ulnar length (UL) and stature. only under circumstances when both ulna and tibia of the same person are available for investigation.G. when UL is the only covariate.3) R2 = 74. It is well understood that the single short ulna belongs only to one person whose height is predicted using two different models. For a known TL value. In this case also. Batish.3.K. This study extends the findings of previous researches by . N. Thapar. Results There was no significant difference in the lengths of right and left tibia in both males (mean difference = 0.1) and (1.K. el-Hamid. p-value = 0. Estimation of stature from body parts. Ozaslan. Mohanty [4] suggested gender-based two different regression equations to predict height among Oriya population when only the leg portion is available. For all the models p-values for these tests turn out to be greater than 0.1). as well as the model based on ulna and tibia. For example. A.893) and females (mean difference = 0. When both UL and TL are available for an individual. 18 (2005) 589–596. If the leg portion as such cannot be identified as being male or female.109. [4] N. l = 2 and following Eq. Sanli. Bhatnagar.K. The validity of all the models has been verified by conducting the tests for no difference between the estimated and the corresponding exact values of the stature for the sample of 20 individuals comprising unused set.1) and (1.4%. H. pvalue = 0. Discussion and conclusion The results of the present study indicate that the percutaneous length of tibia and ulna can be efficiently used for the estimation of stature.4) are adequate and satisfy all underlying assumptions. Bozkir. Duyar et al. 24 (1984) 137–141. Forensic Sci. Int. Erol. the fitted normal error regression model with TL as the only covariate is given by ˆ y ð2Þ ¼ p-val¼0:000 À21:0 þ p-val¼0:000 2:83 TL (1. Oguz. who formed part of the study.1) and (1. this method suffers from a serious drawback in its model formulation stage itself. For a given UL. 3. Hence Box-Cox transformation is applied to the response variable. Stature. E.D. [2] S. Our findings are quite different from the earlier studies [4. Tug ¸. (1. the assumption of constant error variance is violated. In the same way for a known TL and UL. (1.A. A sample of 80 females and 80 males was selected randomly out of a total of 90 females and 90 males. R. taking into account the tail observations. based on single short ulna using general regression model. Also. ulnar length and height using linear regression models. estimate of stature can be obtained by using Eqs.996). The data on these 160 subjects were used to construct the models and the data on the remaining 20 subjects were used to test the predictive ability of the models.

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