Body Height Effect on Brain Volumes in Youth Decreases in Old Age in Koreans

  • Koh, In-Song (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Kyung Hee University and Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Hanyang University)
  • Received : 2011.08.12
  • Accepted : 2011.08.12
  • Published : 2011.09.30


The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) volumetric analysis of the brain was performed in 59 healthy elderly Koreans (aged 62-76 years; 34 male, 25 female) to investigate whether the previously reported significant correlations between body height and brain volumes in the young aged Koreans (20's) still exist in the old aged Koreans (60's and 70's). Unlike previously reported significant correlations in the young aged Koreans, neither the correlation between whole brain volume and body height in male nor the correlation between cerebellar volume and body height in female show any significance in the old aged Koreans. The significant correlation between body height and whole brain volume was still observed when both male and female data were combined (r=0.27, P<0.05), but the correlation coef-ficient and the level of significance markedly decreased from those of previously reported Korean youth data (r=0.67, P<0.01). Simple linear regression analysis shows decrease of explanatory power of height (measured in $r^2$) from 44% in the youth group to 7% in the old age group on the variance of whole brain volume. Multiple linear regression analysis shows that age and sex, rather than height, are major explanatory variables for whole brain volume in the old aged Koreans. The loss of correlations in the aged group is suspected to be mainly due to age related brain volume changes.


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