Morpho-physiological features of human populations in the context of climatic--geographical conditions

Coll Antropol. 2012 Sep;36(3):729-43.


This paper is based on the data obtained in the course of population studies conducted in 33 geographical regions of the former USSR territory by the faculty of the Anuchin Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, between 1961 and 1991. The data resulting from study of 4386 male and 4626 female subjects aged 17 to 99 include head and body morphology, bone mineral density, blood oxygen saturation and blood biochemistry. We aimed at studying the link between the traits of a population and the climatic conditions of the area inhabited by this population. Individual characteristics of the subjects were normalized by age and sex, and factor analysis was used to reduce the number of cross-correlating features. As a result, several integral characteristics (factors) were identified: five body morphology-related factors, two head morphology-related factors, one bone mineral density-related factor, one blood oxygen saturation-related factor and three blood biochemistry-related factors. These factors explained 79.3%, 78.38%, 63.51%, 74.4% and 66.77% of the trait groups' variability, respectively. The correlation analysis between these factors and climatic indicators demonstrated that chest dimensions were the least tolerant to the climatic conditions among the morphological characteristics studied. Hemoglobin-protein ratios, as well as the factor that includes total cholesterol, were the most climate-dependent among the biochemical parameters. As far as our data show, blood serum oxygen saturation--the key factor determining the performance of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems--is also climate-dependent.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropology, Physical / methods*
  • Anthropometry*
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Climate*
  • Demography*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Russia
  • USSR
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Proteins
  • Hemoglobins