This study presents the results of a second round of measurements taken on a group of 1813 medically screened, healthy, white veterans living in the Boston area five years after their initial measurements. The men are grouped in five year cohorts from below 30 to above 70 years of age. As we can now observe the characteristic changes with age for each five year cohort over this age range, it is possible to partition the observed cross-sectional differences in cohort averages between those differences most likely due to changes with age and those likely due to secular differences established before entrance into the study. Of the 29 measurements found to be reliable, all (save possibly chest breadth and depth) have been affected by the secular trend toward larger size, including measurements taken on the head. Changes with age are smaller in magnitude. Individual shrinkage in the vertebral column is detectable as early as the fifth decade of life. A number of measurements increase throughout life. Weight increases both longitudinally with age, and from cohort to cohort (secular trend) until the beginning of the sixth decade. There are no significant decreases in weight with old age. Men are currently gaining weight at a rate which suggests that between their middle 20’s and early 50’s, they may expect on an average to gain 8 kilograms so that the youngest current participants in the study can expect to have an average weight of about 89 kilograms by the time they are 50 years old.
Friedlander, Jonathan S.; Costa, Paul T. Jr; Bosse, Raymond; Ellis, Elizabeth; Rhoads, John G.; and Stoudt, Howard W.
"Longitudinal Physique Changes Among Healthy White Veterans at Boston,"
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol49/iss4/3