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Ladies from Hell, Aberdeen Free Gardeners, and the Russian influenza: An anthropometric analysis of WWI-era Scottish soldiers and civilians

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  • Riggs, Paul
  • Cuff, Timothy
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    Abstract

    We analyze data on the height of Scottish men, both civilians and members of the military forces serving in World War I measured in the 1910s, in order to provide another window into the biological well-being of late nineteenth-century birth cohorts. The evidence indicates that rural residents still had a distinct height advantage over their urban counterparts and that military men displayed a slower growth profile than did civilians, but mean heights for the two groups of adults were similar. Mean stature for both groups is well above those found by Floud for British troops born in the 1880s and greater than that of Scottish convicts from the 1830s. Men who were in utero between 1889 and 1893 were slightly stunted, “marked for life” by an encounter with the Russian influenza which struck the region repeatedly.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 69-77

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:1:p:69-77

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

    Related research

    Keywords: Height; Anthropometrics; Scotland; Influenza; Fetal origins hypothesis; Barker hypothesis; Biological standard of living;

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    1. Brian A'Hearn & Franco Peracchi & Giovanni Vecchi, 2008. "Height and the normal distribution: Evidence from Italian military data," CEIS Research Paper 124, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Jul 2008.
    2. Lang, Stefan & Sunder, Marco, 2003. "Non-parametric regression with BayesX: a flexible estimation of trends in human physical stature in 19th century America," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 77-89, January.
    3. Roderick Floud & Kenneth Wachter & Annabel Gregory, 1990. "Height, Health, and History: Nutritional Status in the United Kingdom, 1750-1980," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number flou90-1, May.
    4. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Subsequent Health Outcomes: An Analysis of SIPP Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 258-262, May.
    5. Richard E. Nelson, 2010. "Testing the Fetal Origins Hypothesis in a developing country: evidence from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(10), pages 1181-1192.
    6. Mokyr, Joel & O Grada, Cormac, 1996. "Height and Health in the United Kingdom 1815-1860: Evidence from the East India Company Army," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 141-168, April.
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