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Using anthropometric techniques, body composition was evaluated in three groups of young soldiers; 30 Tamilians at sea level, 45 Ladakhis at altitude and 17 Tamilians after a 10-month stay at 3960 m altitude, were studied.In the Tamilians at sea level, the body mass (mean 55.93 ± 5.67 kg) was composed of 11.85 ±4.51% body fat, 5.52 ± 0.62% bone mineral, 65.76 ± 4.56% body water and 16.87 ± 2.14% cell solids. Among Ladakhis (mean body weight 55.54 ± 4.82 kg), fat constituted 10.58 ± 2.73%, bone mineral 5.79 ± 0.38%, body water 66.93 ± 4.12% and cell solids 16.69 ± 2.92% of the total body weight. Bone mineral was significantly greater in the Ladakhis due to their wider bi-iliac, wrist, knee and ankle widths. After 10 months’ stay at high altitude, the Tamilians lost 0.89 kg body fat and 0.58 kg cell solids. Body water increased by 0.56 kg. Changes in bone mineral, however, were not significant.In spite of prolonged exposure to high altitude, the Tamilians were unable to adjust the oxygen transport mechanism like the natives. Structural changes in the skeletal system of the high-altitude natives are obviously meant for better haemopoietic activity.