Hand length as a surrogate measurement of height
(2015) Hand length as a surrogate measurement of height, no. 41.
Background: Surrogate height measurements are used in the clinical setting when measured height is unobtainable. Accurate height measurement is a necessary component for the evaluation of nutritional status and dietetic care. Hand length for stature estimation, is a recently added surrogate measurement to the established ulna length, knee height and demispan height predictors. Aim: The aim of this study was to compare predicted height from hand length, to other surrogate measures of ulna length, knee height and demispan and their accuracy against measured height. Healthy participants were recruited from the QMU population. Design: Height was estimated from hand length, ulna length, demispan and knee height and compared to standing and self-reported height. Body Mass Index was then calculated in the sample population (n=22). Descriptive Statistics, Paired Sample t tests, Spearman's Correlation of Coefficients and Bland Altman Limits of Agreement were analysed to assess the accuracy of surrogate heights to measured height. Results: Significant differences between each of the surrogate measurements and measured height was found using Paired Sample t tests (p<0.05). Self-reported height was not significantly different from measured height (p=0.05). All surrogate measurements had a significantly strong positive correlation with measured height. Knee height had the strongest positive correlation (rs=0.943). BMI was classified in the 'desirable' category using measured, self-reported and each surrogate measurement of height. Bland Altman plots showed upper limits of agreement of 13cm and lower limits of agreement of -13.6cm. Conclusion: Significant differences between each of the surrogate measurements of height and measured height are evident. Self-reported height is the most accurate, followed by knee height, ulna length, hand length and demispan estimations. Key words: height, surrogate measures, malnutrition, body mass index