<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 22, Issue 1, March 2014

Rom J Leg Med22(1)27-30(2014)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Age estimation in subadults based on general anthropometric parameters in a population of Romania

A. Pungă, M. Roșu, L. Munteanu, M. Marinescu, V. Panaitescu

Abstract: In Romania the cases of anthropological forensic exams performed in order to estimate the age of subadults include mostly people with an extremely low socioeconomic status, frequently homeless people, whose parents did not have a certified copy of the medical birth certificate issued. Given that the population for which these exams are done is relatively homogeneous in terms of socio-economic and ethnic factors, the purpose of this paper is to identify the utility of the isolated anthropometric exam in order to establish age. The study was conducted on a total of 181 forensic cases which required an anthropological forensic exam so as to estimate the age in subadult individuals (under 13 years old). The cases were selected from among those where one knew the exact age with a reasonable degree of certainty. The variables included in the study were: sex, weight, head circumference, teeth, maximum arm span, arm length, forearm length, left hand length, chest circumference, thigh length, calf length. For each parameter, a linear regression equation for males and respectively females was created. The adjusted R2 values for the equations created based on the above parameters were in all cases over 0.5; the highest values were obtained, in the case of both sexes, for the waist and the maximum arm span. Conclusions: Based on the regression equations obtained for age estimation based on general anthropometric parameters one can create, either in Excel or in programming languages, algorithms that may, in many cases, allow the age identification with a few weeks as a margin of error. The best results in terms of age estimation were obtained using a combined method. However, even using a small number of markers one can reach a reasonable age estimation (+/-6 months), which is sufficient to correlate the anthropological data with those of the medical birth certificate.
Keywords: forensic anthropology, age estimation, regressive analysis of anthropometric parameters.

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