ANNALS OF HUMAN BIOLOGY, vol.36, no.3, pp.308-319, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
Background: Arm span reference values need to be determined in screening for certain clinical conditions. Aim: To determine arm span reference values for screening purposes in children and adolescents. Subjects and methods: Children and adolescents aged 6-17 were selected according to socio-economic levels. Age, pubertal period and sex-specific height and arm span are presented as means and standard deviation. Construction of the centile curves was performed using LMS software; the 3rd, 50th and 97th percentiles of each sex were compared. Results: A total of 5358 primary and secondary school students (2737 girls, 2621 boys) were sampled for this study. Centile curves for both genders and linear regression equations to predict height from arm span were produced (height = 13.4396 + 0.9037(arm span); r =0.95 for boys and height = 16.4181 + 0.8865 (arm span); r =0.93 for girls). The correlation between arm span and height (r =0.83 p=0.001) was high and significant through ages 6-17. Conclusion: The findings provide a comparison of height and arm span for clinical purposes in critical percentiles (3rd, 50th and 97th), although these findings suffer from a lack of longitudinal examination to show the progress of these two anthropometric measurements.