Height and sex estimation using percutaneous humeral length among Ghanaians

Introduction: Humerus is a long bone that contributes significantly to the total height of an individual. It is sexually dimorphic and is a well-preserved bone postmortem. Height and sex are essential in establishing one’s identity and can be estimated from long bones when standing height cannot be easily obtained. Previous studies report that sex and height are population-specific. Hence, the present study sought to establish the relationship between percutaneous humeral lengths and height and formulate models for height and sex determination for the Ghanaian population. Materials and methods: Measurement of standing height and percutaneous humeral lengths were taken from 286 Ghanaian consented participants with no noticeable lower and upper extremities traumas or pathologies. The data was analysed using Microsoft Excel 2013 and SPSS version 23.0 edition. Correlation analysis was done to determine the correlation of the percutaneous humeral length with height, linear regression and binary logistic analyses were used to derive equations for predicting height and sex from percutaneous humeral length. An independent samples t-test was used to determine the means between males and females, left and right percu taneous humeral lengths. Results: There was a strong positive correlation between standing height and left (r = 0.774) and right (r=0.759) humeral lengths. The left humeral length regression equation was a good height estimator in males (75.4%) and females (71.%). The left and right humeral lengths best predicted the sex for the population, with an accuracy of 78.0% and 77.8% for males and 53.8% and 54.6% for females, respectively. Conclusion: This study has added to the limited data on the use of percutaneous humeral length as a substitute for the determination of standing height and sex in the Ghanaian population, and it is also a significant identification tool which can be employed in the field of forensic anthropometry.
This article is published by Elsevier and is also available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsir.2024.100367
Forensic Science International: Reports 9 (2024) 100367