ISSN   0974-3618  (Print)          

            0974-360X (Online)





Estimation of Stature from Mandibular Width


LeyaMeriam Mathews1, Dr. K. YuvarajBabu

Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Chennai- 600083

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



AIM – To do a research on the estimation of stature from the mandibular width.

OBJECTIVE –To assess or estimate the approximate height of the person using the dimensions of their mandibular width.

BACKGROUND – The mandible is the single mobile bone of the skull which develops from the sixth week of intrauterine life. It helps in providing sophisticated functions like mastication and also helps in speech. Mandibular dimensions are helpful to determine where the growth occurs at the mandible and the time it occurs.

MATERIALS AND METHODS - The mandibular width was measured using vernier calipers. The height of the person was measured using the Standard Height Frame for 30 females.

REASON – This study will help in Forensic Anthropology to estimate or give an approximate height of an individual.






Anthropology is the study of humans. Its main sub-divisions are cultural anthropology and biological anthropology. Forensic anthropology is a branch of biological anthropology which deals with the application of osteology, archeology for the identification of modern human remains or reconstruction of events surrounding a person’s death. Estimation of height is an important parameter in the identification of skeletal remains in forensic examination. It becomes more vital in case of mass disasters and fault assault of individuals[1, 2] .Stature is estimated by comparing the length of certain long bones like femur, tibia, fibula, ulna but short bones like bones of the hand and feet may also be used[3]. There is also a definitive biological correlation of stature with body parts such as extremities, head, trunk and vertebral column[4]. With this background in concern, a study was made to estimate the stature of a person using the mandibular width.






Received on 19.06.2015          Modified on 25.06.2015

Accepted on 21.07.2015        © RJPT All right reserved

Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 8(8): August, 2015; Page 1147-1149

DOI: 10.5958/0974-360X.2015.00204.8


The mandible is a single mobile bone of the skull which develops during the 6th week of intrauterine life. It is an important bone which helps in sophisticated functions like mastication and speech. Mandibular dimensions are very important to determine where the growth occurs at the mandible[5]. It may also help in yielding better results when it’s co-related to a person’s age.



The study was conducted among the South Indian population for 30 females in Saveetha Dental College, Tamil Nadu, India during the month of April. The subjects were selected at random within the age group 25 – 30 years. The focus of the measurements were mandibular width and the height of the person .The mandibular width was measured from angle to angle of the mandible with the help of vernier calipers while the height of the person was measured using Standard Height Frame, the measurements were taken by the same examiner at a fixed time between 10.00 to 11.00 a.m. to minimize the chances of errors.



The data that was collected for the mandibular width and height of the individual was computed in order to calculate the mean values of each.


Number of subjects:                                        30 females

Range of mandibular width:                  11.5 – 15.6 cms

Mean value of mandibular width:   12.80± 0.7883 cms

Range of height of a person:                    152 – 178 cms

Mean value of height of a person:    162.51± 6.860 cms


Using the simple linear regression equation, the stature can be estimated approximately,

Using the formula:            y = a+ bx


The regression equation was calculated to be:

Y    = 168.06 – 0.433x


y       = height of the person in cms

x       = mandibular width in cms

a and b = regression constants



During identification of skeletal remains, general characteristics are determined first. These characteristics include the age, sex and race of the individual The Trotter and Gleser formulae were used for many years for stature estimation[6]. But many other studies have contradicted to this theory that a formula should be specifically derived for each population[7,8]. The anatomical method of Fully for reconstructing stature involved the addition of skeletal elements from the calcaneus to the skull and has been used in forensic context. However, it has a tendency to underestimate the actual living stature.


Certain studies have indicated that the stature can be estimated using various facial parameters. Kanchankumar et al has estimated stature from maxilla-facial anthropometry like nasal height and total facial height (height between nasion and gnathion) in a central Indian population[9]. A study on Haryani adults by Mahesh Kumar et al also concluded that other cephalo – facial measurements like the maximum head length were also used to estimate the stature of a person[10]. Anthropometric data and odontometry of the skull can also be used to estimate the stature [11].


The mandible has been also used to find certain general characteristics like gender, age, height. In a study using radiographic images, Revant. H  Chole concluded that the mandibular angle serves as important criteria for sex determination. The mandibular angle was found to be inverted in males and everted in females[12]. The mandibular body length, ramus height and mandibular length was increased by 2.23, 3.26, 4.26 mm/ years respectively. There are no significant differences in mandibular linear growth between the two sexes though the female mandible has a higher growth rate compared to males. These parameters might prove to be of importance in age determination [13]. Very little study has been done to calculate the height of the person using the mandible.


Using the data collected, the mean stature was estimated using the linear regression method for the South Indian Females. In this study the mandibular width was used as a parameter to estimate the stature of the person .The usefulness of regression equations is generally assessed on the intercept (y value that is calculated). The mean stature of the subjects in our study was compared to the study in Caucasian Italian population using different mandibular parameters. In the study, Chantal Milani used the bigonial distance as the parameter to calculate the stature, using  the formula derived ELS= (7.076)Go-Go + 98.332 where ELS is the estimated living stature[14]. In the current study the mean value for mandibular width was found to be 12.8 ± 0.7883 cms and the mean value for height was 162.51 ± 6.860 cms using the formula derived mentioned above. The similar values of the mean height of the person and the estimated stature of the equation suggest that the mandibular width may be considered as a reliable parameter for stature estimation. This anthropological study has favorably shown that the mandibular width can also be reliable parameter for stature estimation.



This study will impact the forensic science community by providing a new method to contribute to the biological profile using the skeletal element. When long bones are absent, the only remains available may be ones normally used to estimate stature. Even though a very little study has been made, the mandible can be used as a reliable parameter for stature estimation by just using the mandibular width. This way it can also help to reduce the list of potential missing person and help to achieve a positive identification.



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