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Socioeconomic inequalities in height, leg length and trunk length among children aged 6.5 years and their parents from the Republic of Belarus: evidence from the Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-602
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number5
DatePublished - Sep 2011


BACKGROUND: Lower socioeconomic position is associated with shorter stature, in particular shorter leg length, but the magnitude of these associations in non-Western countries has received little attention.

AIM: To examine socioeconomic differentials in height, leg and trunk length in 6.5 year olds from the Republic of Belarus and compare these to differentials in parental height.

METHODS: Multivariable linear regression was used to examine associations in a cohort of 13 889 children.

RESULTS: Children from non-manual households were 1.0 cm (95% confidence interval: 0.7-1.3 cm) taller than those from manual households. Mothers and fathers from non-manual backgrounds were 0.7 cm (0.5-0.8) and 1.8 cm (1.6-2.0) taller than those from manual backgrounds, respectively. Associations with higher parental educational attainment were similar. The magnitudes of the associations of socioeconomic position with leg length were similar to those with trunk length. Adjusting for mid-parental height and number of older siblings attenuated associations markedly.

CONCLUSIONS: In Belarus, similar socioeconomic differentials in height were observed in both children and their parents. Among children, height differentials were partly explained by mid-parental height and number of older siblings. Leg length was not a more sensitive indicator of childhood socioeconomic conditions than trunk length.

    Research areas

  • Body Height/physiology, Breast Feeding, Child, Female, Humans, Leg/anatomy & histology, Male, Parents, Republic of Belarus, Socioeconomic Factors, Torso/anatomy & histology


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