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Growth of the Kalahari Desert's bushman - the Ju/'hoansi San
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
2012 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 101, no 5, 528-532 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: The Ju/hoansi San (JHS) of the Kalahari Desert are the archetype of a hunter-gatherer society that practices natural fertility, living on a rich diet in a harsh environs. Methods: To explore the evolutionary adaptation of child growth under such conditions, the present study takes a life history approach and compares the growth data of 140 JHS females and 126 JHS males age 1-25 to those in 3rd percentile American and Swedish references. The data are based on observations of the JHS that were made in 1967-1969. Results: During infancy, the JHS boys lose 1.5 SDS and girls -0.3 SDS in terms of Swedish reference. The height SDS of the JHS did not change significantly during their childhood, but growth deceleration during the juvenile period (middle childhood) was substantially greater and longer, amounting to a loss of 1.6 SDS for both girls and boys. Adolescent spurt was substantially later and smaller than that of the short-statured Americans. Conclusions: The results suggest that the short stature of the JHS is mostly established during juvenility, in adaptation to their unique living conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 101, no 5, 528-532 p.
Keyword [en]
Ecology, Evolution, Growth anthropometry
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-173623DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02573.xISI: 000302349200034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-173623DiVA: diva2:525743
Available from: 2012-05-09 Created: 2012-05-02 Last updated: 2012-05-09Bibliographically approved

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