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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

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Anthropometric evaluation of school-going native highlanders (4–19 years of age) from the Leh-Ladakh region in India

Uday Yanamandra
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Hematology, Army Research and Referral Hospital, New Delhi, India, Phone: +91-8195035551
  • Department of Medicine, 153 General Hospital, Leh, India
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Srinivasa A. Bhattachar / Deeksha Katoch / Sushma Yanamandra / Siddharth Shankar
  • Manipal University, Kasturba Medical College Manipal, Internal Medicine, Manipal, Karnataka, India
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/ V. K. Lalitha Kumari / Angella Ayekappam / Suman Kumar / Sagarika Patyal / Velu Nair
Published Online: 2019-05-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0253



The native population of the Ladakh region faces the unique challenges of a high-altitude environment with distinct physiological adaptations in comparison with lowlanders. However, no comprehensive data on standard anthropometric parameters for the school-going children in this populace is available.


We aimed to study the various anthropometric parameters in the school-going native highlander population and computed measures of central tendency. The nutritional status of the community was also be determined by comparing with World Health Organization (WHO) scores for height for age (HFA), weight for age (WFA) and body mass index (BMI) for age.


A cross-sectional, descriptive study was devised to assess the anthropometric parameters. We measured height, weight, mid-upper circumference (MUAC), triceps skinfold (TSF) thickness, sub-scapular skinfold (SSF) thickness, waist, hip and abdominal circumference. Statistical analysis was conducted to determine the mean [±2 standard deviation (SD)], median, range, minimum and maximum. The z-scores for HFA, WFA and BMI for age was computed using WHO reference data.


A total of 346 school-going native highlander children (4–19 years of age) were studied.


Among the study population, the mean height was 141.17 ± 39.08 cm, the mean weight was 38.27 ± 25.40 kg. The gender difference in height, MUAC, sub-scapular skinfold (SSF) thickness, TSF thickness and the abdominal circumference was found to be statistically significant. Of the subjects 23.46% were stunted (i.e. HFA below −2 SD of the WHO standard) and 7.01% were underweight (WFA below −2 SD of the WHO standard).


The nutritional status of the Ladakhi population was assessed by comparison with the WHO reference data. Nomograms for anthropometric data in school-going children (4–19 years of age) of Ladakh were created. These can be used for further studies and planning targeted intervention strategies on this geographically isolated and evolutionary distinct highland population.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: anthropometry; high altitude; India; Leh-Ladakh; native highlanders; nutritional survey; school-going population


About the article

aPresently affiliated to Army Hospital, Research and Referral, New Delhi, India.

bPresently affiliated to Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, India.

Received: 2018-11-03

Accepted: 2018-12-11

Published Online: 2019-05-10

Disclosure statement: The authors have none to declare.

Conflict of interest: None to declare.

Financial Support: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Authorship: Dr. Yanamandra Uday: study design, data collection and analysis, manuscript preparation; Dr. Srininvas A. Bhattachar: study design; Dr. Deeksha Katoch: data analysis, manuscript preparation; Dr. Yanamandra Sushma: data collection and analysis; Dr. Siddharth Shankar: data analysis, manuscript preparation; Ms. Lalitha Kumari VK: data collection; Ms. Angella Ayekappam: data collection; Dr. Suman Kumar: statistical analysis; Dr. Sagarika Patyal: study design and Dr. Velu Nair: study design, manuscript preparation.

Ethical standards disclosure: This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki and all procedures involving human subjects/patients were approved by the 14 Corps Institutional Ethics Clearance committee. Written informed consent was obtained from guardians of all subjects.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180253, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0253.

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