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The pattern of growth and body composition of 271 lowland Quechua children from the village of Pamashto (altitude 980 meters) of the province of Lamas was studied in comparison with that of 313 highland Quechua children from the village of Ondores of the province of Junin (altitude 4150 m). The analysis indicates that, despite the fact that the lowland adults are taller than their highland counterparts, the growth of the lowland children is markedly delayed when compared with that of the highland children. In view of the fact that these samples are genetically very similar, the observed growth differences are probably due to differences in socio-economic and/or other environmental conditions. Measurements of skinfold thickness and estimates of upper arm muscle indicate that lowland children have a lower calorie and protein reserve than those of the highlands. These variations are probably related to various recent negative changes in the ecology and socio-economic condition of lowland populations as well as to climatic factors.