Study of Hand Measurements as a Potential Tool for Prediction of Sex and Estimation of Stature in a Sample of Egyptian and Malaysian Youth

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.


Background: Identification of the living and the deceased is of great importance in various civil and legal aspects. An individual hand when recovered and brought for examination can give important information about sex, stature and age of the person. Regression equations have been derived in different populations for estimation of stature and they are reliable, accurate and of utmost importance to forensic scientists for medico-legal cases. 
Aim of the study: To evaluate hand measurements as a potential tool for determination of sex and estimation of stature in a sample of Egyptian and Malaysian people and to conduct a comparative study between them.
Subjects and methods: The study was conducted on 300 volunteers (200 Egyptians and 100 Malaysians) from both sexes aged above 21 years old and less than 30 years old. Measurement of hand length, breadth and finger lengths of right hand were taken using a sliding caliper (Vernier caliper) beside measurement of the stature using stadiometer.
SPSS was used to compare the recorded measurements between both sexes; logistic regression was conducted to derive equations for prediction of sex from each hand. Multiple regression was performed to estimate stature from hand measurements.                                                  
Results: Male measurements of all parameters including hand length, hand breadth, finger lengths of right hand and stature were significantly higher than females in both Egyptian and Malaysian volunteers. There was a moderate to strong positive, statistically significant correlation between stature and the hand length, breadth, and finger lengths of right hand in male and female Egyptian and Malaysian participants. Hand length, hand breadth and thumb length were the best predictors for sex from the right hand, also hand length and index length were the best predictors for stature from the right hand.
Conclusion: Sex and stature can be predicted with reasonable accuracy from hand measurements in Egyptian and Malaysian young adults. Further studies are required to validate the derived equations in a large sample of Egyptians and Malaysians and to test the equations validity in other age groups.