Stature loss among an older United States population and its relation to bone mineral status

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1990 Dec;83(4):467-76. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330830408.


Age-related statural loss has been recorded but incompletely assessed in modern populations. In this study, data collected on stature during annual bone mineral assessments are analyzed for 1,024 Caucasian individuals from southern Arizona. Continued stabilization in reported maximum heights is seen in this population. With advancing age there is a gradual decrease in height apparently beginning in the mid-40s. Thereafter, there is a relatively rapid decrease in measured height. This contrasts to the much slower rates predicted from earlier populations (Trotter and Gleser: American Journal of Physical Anthropology 9:311-324, 1951). The rate of stature loss is associated with diminution of bone mineral density as well as with maximum height. Since there are suggestions of a secular trend toward greater reductions in bone mineral density, this study suggests there may be a secular trend toward an increase in statural loss with age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Anthropometry
  • Arizona
  • Body Height*
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / chemistry
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors