Morphological evaluation of the humeral length and application as indicator of sexual dimorphism among Southern Nigerian children

Dayo R. Omotoso, Felix O. Akinshipe


Background: This study was carried out to evaluate humeral length among children in Southern Nigeria and to describe its sexual dimorphism among study population.

Methods: This study involved 450 children (230 males and 220 females) between 3-14 years old in Southern Nigerian.  The humeral length was measured as distance between lateral epicondyle distally palpated when elbow was flexed to 90 degrees and acromion proximally palpated lateral end of clavicle. Definitive right and left humeral lengths (RHL and LHL) were derived by subtracting 2.5 mm from measured length. Average values of RHL and LHL were evaluated as morphological humeral length (MHL) for each subject. Data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS version 20 and statistical comparisons done using t-test with p < 0.05 regarded as level of significant difference.

Results: In all age groups, non-significant bilateral variation was observed with the RHL higher than the LHL among both male and female subjects. In addition, the results showed significant (p<0.05) sexual dimorphism in all age groups with mean±SEM of MHL among 3-6 years old higher in females (19.45±0.81) than in males (18.63±0.83).  However, the reverse was observed among higher age groups with mean±SEM of MHL in 7-10- and 11-14-years old males (24.43±0.95 and 28.75±0.94) significantly higher than in 7-10 years old and 11-14 years old females (22.85±0.91 and 26.73±0.84) respectively.

Conclusions: Based on findings of this study, humeral morphometrics particularly the humeral length can be applied as a significant indicator of sexual dimorphism among the study population.


Anthropometry, Humeral length, Nigerian children, Sexual dimorphism

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