Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Application of Nonpregnant and Pregnant Women's Anthropometric Data in Medicine

Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Application of Nonpregnant and Pregnant Women's Anthropometric Data in Medicine

Article excerpt

The article presents the results of the research on nonpregnant and pregnant women's body structure that was begun at Tartu University as early as in 1974. The sample includes 18-22-year-old nonpregnant women (n=678) and 18-29-year-old pregnant women (primipara, n=3919). By means of multivariate statistical analysis we found that nonpregnant woman's body as a whole is a linear well-correlated system. The leading measurements are height and weight which account for 50% of the variability of all the other measurements. Variations in body height-weight sizes lead to systematic changes in length, breadth and depth measurements, circumferences and body proportions. Comparative changes of body proportions in the general contingent and in the groups of purely pycnic and leptosomic women are based on the corresponding values of their body height and weight.

A well-correlated system of body measurements can be demonstrated during pregnancy as well, when body height and weight account for 45% of the variability of the other measurements. At various gestational ages body weight can be predicted precisely enough by abdominal measurements (R=0.9535).

Combining the 19 simple indices formed from the variables that do not change during pregnancy we formed the pregnant woman's summary body build index. Using this index and gestational age it was possible to predict with sufficient precision the values for every anthropometric characteristic measured (r-0.540.91). From the clinical anthropometric characteristics of the parturients we formed the complex body build index, and using this index and body height we created a two-dimensional classification (5 x 5 SD classes) which enabled us to analyse the correlations between labour index and the newborn's weight.

Key Words: anthropometric, nonpregnant, pregnant, parturient, body build index, newborn's weight, health

Health, physical development and body build of nonpregnant and pregnant women are most essential for maintaining and strengthening the health and vitality of every nation. Scientific investigation, therapeutic and preventive measures in this area should be integrated, taking into account the results of anthropometric, physiological, clinical and other studies (Heath, Carter 1966; Frankenberg 1980; Noppa, Anderson, Bengtson, Bruce, Isakson 1980; Wienker 1984; Drobny 1986; Maiste 1992; Physical status. 1995).

In order to analyse simultaneously the data of several disciplines, multivariate classifications are needed which would present models of the body as a whole.

The above-mentioned problems also concern the studies of pregnant women and parturients. It is a well-known fact that the course of pregnancy and parturition and the health of the newborn are closely connected with the individual dimensions of the mother's body, like height, weight, external and internal pelvic measurements, which influence the course of labour (Solth 1960; Davydov 1967; Cherepanov 1971; Matveyev 1973; Kalganova 1978; Calandra, Abell and Beischer 1981; Haste, Anderson, Brooke, Blard, Peacock 1991; Riive, Kaarma, Tiit 1992; Saluste 1992; Hickey, Cliver, McNeal, Hoffmann, Goldenberg 1996; Lederman, Steven, Heymsfield, Wang, Thornton, Pierson 1997; Clark, Atton, Law, Shiell, Godfrey, Banker 1998). But there are no methods for estimating the integrated influence of all these separate characteristics.

Taking into account the above-mentioned, the present article will introduce the reader to the possibilities of classification offered by us. These are based on our long-term experience in studying the body structure of the corresponding contingents which started at Tartu Women's Clinic as early as in 1974 (Kaarma 1980, 1981, 1983, 1991, 1995a,b, Kaarma, Raud 1997; Kaarma, Salundi, Koskel, 1997; Kaarma, Saluste, Thetloff, Peterson, Riive, Salundi, Veldre, Raud, 1998).

Material and methods

The study of body build structure was carried out on healthy nonpregnant and pregnant women with normal physical development and normal menstrual cycle, and on newborns born of normal delivery. …

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