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Relations between Incidence of Specific Diseases and Body Build of Young Women

Jane Peterson, Helje Kaarma and Säde Koskel


Published: 2006/06/01


The paper studies the relations between the body build of women between the ages of 17 and 23 (university entrants, first- and second-year students, n = 724) and the diseases affecting them. The subjects' weight, height and 40 anthropometric variables were measured, from which seven indices of body composition were calculated. Individual anthropometric characteristics were systematized into a SD classification of five classes - small, medium, large, pycnomorphous and leptomorphous. The subjects were interviewed about eight main groups of disease to find the specific diseases they had suffered from and the total number of cases (n = 1270). Incidence of diseases was assessed in the body build classes into which the subjects had been classified according to their anthropometric data. We found that pycnomorphous and leptomorphous young women were affected by cardiovascular, urological, surgical and otorhinolaryngologic diseases statistically significantly more often. When checking the number of subjects who had been affected by one to four or more diseases, the same tendency appeared: in the classes of pycnomorphs and leptomorphs incidence of diseases was significantly higher than in other classes. Such results hint at a constitutional peculiarity and that suggest that height and weight and concordance or disconcordance between them may have an essential influence on young women's health.

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