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Improved prediction equations for estimating height in adults from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Madden, Angela M.; Mashanova, Alla; Amirabdollahian, Farzad; Ghuman, Sandeep; Makda, Munibah; Collinson, Avril; Dean, Frances; Hirsz, Malgorzata; Lennie, Susan; Maynard, Maria J.; Power, Brian


Angela M. Madden

Alla Mashanova

Farzad Amirabdollahian

Sandeep Ghuman

Munibah Makda

Avril Collinson

Frances Dean

Malgorzata Hirsz

Susan Lennie

Maria J. Maynard

Brian Power


Background and aims - When body height cannot be measured, it can be predicted from ulna length (UL). However, commonly used published prediction equations may not provide useful estimates in adults from all ethnicities. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between UL and height in adults from diverse ethnic groups and to consider whether this can be used to provide useful prediction equations for height in practice. Methods - Standing height and UL were measured in 542 adults at seven UK locations. Ethnicity was self-defined using UK Census 2011 categories. Data were modelled to give two groups of height prediction equations based on UL, sex and ethnicity and these were tested against an independent dataset (n = 180). Results - UL and height were significantly associated overall and in all groups except one with few participants (P = 0.059). The new equations yielded predicted height (Hp) that was closer to measured height in the Asian and Black subgroups of the independent population than the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) equations. For Asian men, (Hp (cm) = 3.26 UL (cm) + 83.58), mean difference from measured (95% confidence intervals) was −0.6 (−2.4, +1.2); Asian women, (Hp = 3.26 UL + 77.62), mean difference +0.5 (−1.4, 2.4) cm. For Black men, Hp = 3.14 UL + 85.80, −0.4 (−2.4, 1.7); Black women, Hp = 3.14 UL + 79.55, −0.8 (−2.8, 1.2). These differences were not statistically significant while predictions from MUST equations were significantly different from measured height. Conclusions - The new prediction equations provide an alternative for estimating height in adults from Asian and Black groups and give mean predicted values that are closer to measured height than MUST equations.


MADDEN, A.M., MASHANOVA, A., AMIRABDOLLAHIAN, F., GHUMAN, S., MAKDA, M., COLLINSON, A., DEAN, F., HIRSZ, M., LENNIE, S., MAYNARD, M.J. and POWER, B. 2020. Improved prediction equations for estimating height in adults from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Clinical nutrition [online], 39(5), pages 1454-1463. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 21, 2019
Publication Date May 31, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 26, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 22, 2020
Journal Clinical Nutrition
Print ISSN 0261-5614
Electronic ISSN 1532-1983
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 5
Pages 1454-1463
Keywords Anthropometry; Height; Ulna; Prediction equations; Ethnicity; Adults
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