Accurate estimation of the personal stature is important in calculating body mass index, assessing nutritional status and the risk of cardiovascular disease, prediction of energy needs and in adaptation of cytostatic drug doses. However, various situations such as, patients in emergency or critical care settings or immobilized patients who are bed ridden or in wheelchairs make it difficult or even impossible to obtain the personal stature using standardized methods. Thus, the need for an alternate method of personal stature prediction arises. Despite its potential practical utility, little is known concerning the relationship between occipito-frontal circumference (OFC) of the head and personal stature among the adult Sri Lankans. Therefore, the goal of this study was to propose population and sex specific regression formula for personal stature estimation using the OFC. Personal stature and OFC was recorded in a total of 156 cadavers belonging to 55 - 89 years of age: (male: n=74; female: n=82). Subjects with any craniofacial deformities or history of neurological disorders were excluded from the study. The mean stature (cm) (male:162.08 ± 9.02 ; female:157.04 ± 9.59) and OFC (cm) (male: 54.09 ± 3.28 ; female: 52.88 ± 2.83) of the study subjects were found to be significantly different (P< 0.01) between the sexes. Correlation coefficient between the OFC and personal stature was statistically significant and positive in both males (0.62) and females (0.86) indicating a strong relationship between the two parameters. Linear regression formulae for the prediction of personal stature using the OFC were derived as follows: male: 70.52 + 1.69 (OFC); female: 3.48 + 2.92 (OFC). Stature prediction equations that require a measuring tape as the only tool to record the OFC provides a practical alternative for the height estimation of patients who are unable to stand due to various reasons. It is a simple, cost effective, non invasive and objective method for personal stature prediction. Accurate prediction of a patient’s stature will in turn, reduce potential errors that may occur when stature is estimated only by visual observation in emergency or clinical situations. Complementary studies are necessary to evaluate the applicability of these equations in other age groups too.
KEY WORDS: Occipito-frontal circumference; Stature; Sri Lankans.