An examination of growth acceleration trends within a male population in Bosnia and Herzegovina between the 19th and 21st centuries

  • Elma Mrehić
  • Damir Marjanović
  • Rifat Hadžiselimović
  • Elma Ferić
Keywords: anthropometry, growth acceleration, body height, Bosnia and Herzegovina


In a transversal study that was conducted from October 2014 to March 2015, we analysed anthropometric measurements and height of young adults. The study included a cohort of 1010 individuals, 596 females and 416 males, who were born during the war period in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) (1992-1995) and were in an age range of 20-24. The average measured height of females was 167.37±6.00 cm and 182.77±6.57 cm of males. When these data were compared with measurements taken in 1895 of Bosnian soldiers who served in the Austro-Hungarian army (age 20 to 24), whose average height was 172.35 ± 5.54 cm, a difference of t=31.17 was observed (p<0.001). Our data showed that the average height of men born from 1992 to 1995 was 182.77 ± 6.56 cm. Furthermore, additional international comparisons with other European and European-descent nations showed that our studied population was one of the tallest. Based on the aforementioned it can be concluded that anthropometric attributes in BH follow a trend of acceleration, which is of particular significance for this part of the world as this anthropometric acceleration trend was observed in a cohort that was born and raised in sub-optimal conditions of war that lasted from 1992 to 1995. It is, therefore, safe to assume that, despite hardships, living conditions have overall improved over a period of 100 years as an increase in overall body height was observed.