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As part of the formulation of a biological profile, the estimation of stature is an important element that provides useful data towards narrowing the pool of potentially matching identities. Recent literature has demonstrated that anthropometry of the hand has considerable promise for the accurate estimation of stature; although the technique has only been tested in a relatively limited range of populations. The aim of the present study, therefore, is to assess the reliability and accuracy of using anthropometric hand measurements for the estimation of stature in a contemporary Western Australian population; we also evaluate whether stature can be accurately estimated from the measurement of handprints. The study sample comprises 91 male and 110 female adult individuals. Following the measurement of stature, seven measurements are taken on each hand and its corresponding print. To establish the reliability of acquiring these measurements, a precision study was performed prior to primary data collection. Measurements data are analysed using basic univariate statistics and simple and multiple regression analyses. Our results show that the degree of measurement error and reliability are well within accepted standards. Stature prediction accuracy using hand and handprint measurements ranges from ±4.74 to 6.53cm, which is comparable to established skeletal standards for the hand. This study provides new forensic standards for the estimation of stature in a Western Australian population and also demonstrates that the measurement and analysis of handprints affords a novel source of profiling data that is statistically quantified.
Centre for Forensic Science, The University of Western Australia, M420, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, 6009 Western Australia, Australia; Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Forensic science international
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Deformities of the hand, or a part of the hand, acquired after birth as the result of injury or disease.
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An autosomal dominant disorder that is the most frequent form of short-limb dwarfism. Affected individuals exhibit short stature caused by rhizomelic shortening of the limbs, characteristic facies with frontal bossing and mid-face hypoplasia, exaggerated lumbar lordosis, limitation of elbow extension, genu varum, and trident hand. (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Omim, MIM#100800, April 20, 2001)
Alterations or deviations from normal shape or size which result in a disfigurement of the hand.
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