Facial profile is an important aspect in physical anthropology, forensic science, and cosmetic research. Thus, facial soft tissue measurement technology plays a significant role in facial restoration. A considerable amount of work has investigated facial soft tissue thickness, which significantly varies according to gender, age, and race. However, only few studies have considered the nutritional status of the investigated individuals. Moreover, no sufficient research among Chinese ethnic groups, particularly Xinjiang population in China, is currently available. Hence, the current study investigated the adaptability of facial soft tissue to the underlying hard tissue among young adults of Han population in Xinjiang, China; the analysis was performed on the basis of gender, skeletal class, and body mass index (BMI). Measurements were obtained from the lateral cephalometric radiographs of 256 adults aged 18-26 years old. Differences in soft tissue thickness were observed between genders and among skeletal classes. With regard to gender, significant differences in soft tissue thickness were found at rhinion, glabella, subnasale, stomion, labrale superius, pogonion, and gnathion among different BMI groups. Thus, nutritional status should be considered when reconstructing an individual's facial profile. Results showed that the thinnest and thickest craniofacial soft tissues existed in rhinion and lip regions, respectively. Overall, this research provides valuable data for forensic facial reconstruction and identification of young adults in Xinjiang, China.
Keywords: Body mass index; Facial reconstruction; Facial soft tissue thickness; Forensic Anthropology Population Data; Forensic science; Skeletal classes.
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