Height prediction formula for middle-aged (30-55 y) Caucasians

Emanuele Cereda, Simona Bertoli, Alberto Battezzati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Stature is essential for nutritional assessment but direct measurement is not possible in bed-ridden patients. Height prediction models have been developed for elderly persons but none is available for middle-aged people. We aimed to validate new equations for height prediction in middle-aged adults. Methods: Middle-aged (30-55 y) adults (n = 635, 316 men, 319 women) were studied for anthropometry (weight, standing height, knee height, and tibia length) and body composition (fat-free mass by impedance). The effect of estimated height on the derivation of body mass index and surface area, fat-free mass, and resting energy expenditure was evaluated. Multiple regressions analyzed the covariates in stature prediction. The best model was selected according to the highest R2 value and the lowest root mean square error. Results: We obtained a model valid for men and women that included age, knee height, and gender (R2 = 0.89, root mean square error = 3.2 cm, limits of agreement -6.1 to 6.5 cm). The use of estimated height in the calculation of body mass index, body surface area, fat-free mass, and REE produced acceptable biases. Application of the model to a control sample resulted in pure errors comparable to root mean square errors of the validation sample. In addition, the use of nationally representative models, introduced for elderly persons by Chumlea et al. (J Am Diet Assoc 1998;98:137-42), appeared to produce similar but slightly higher biases in both sexes. Conclusion: In middle-aged Caucasians, height can be estimated with acceptable accuracy by the model proposed in this report. The derivation of body mass index, body surface area, fat-free mass, and resting energy expenditure by this estimate is accurate. Nevertheless, in the absence of more accurate age- and race-specific prediction models, the use of equations by Chumlea et al. should always be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1081
Number of pages7
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Anthropometry
  • Estimated height
  • Knee height
  • Middle-aged subjects
  • Nutritional assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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