Relationship between Ratio of Second and Fourth Digit and Obesity Traits among Different Ethnic Groups in Ilorin, North Central Nigeria
Digit ratio (2D:4D) denotes the relative length of the second and fourth digits. There are contradicting reports on its relationship with ethnicity/race, whereas convincing studies show it is related to obesity. This cross-sectional study was undertaken to demystify ethnic difference in 2D:4D ratio and to analyze its relationship with obesity among adults in Ilorin Nigeria. The cross-sectional study included 701 individuals. Finger lengths were measured with electronic calipers and other anthropometric traits were measured with standard procedure. Student t test and one-way ANOVA were used to detect differences among groups and relationship was computed with Pearson correlation. The receiver operator characteristic curves were used to detect the diagnostic effect of 2D:4D for obesity. The obtained results showed sexual dimorphism in 2D:4D ratio and other anthropometrics at p < 0.01. Obesity was associated with significantly higher mean of 2D:4D in both genders (female 0.9814 ± 0.012:0.9700 ± 0.012; male 0.9700 ± 0.010:0.9592 ± 0.010 at p < 0.001). The area under the curve was 0.753 (95% CI 0.677-0.829, p < 0.01) and 0.798 (95% CI 0.756-0.804, p < 0.01) in female and male R2D:4D respectively for obesity, implying that 2D:4D might be a surrogate marker for obesity in future. No significant difference was found in 2D:4D among different ethnic groups studied (p >0.05); this result proved that there was no ethnic specificity in 2D:4D ratio among study’ participants. Thus, it can be reported that the digit ratio was related to high 2D:4D, but this cannot be said for different ethnic groups. The results imply that 2D:4D might be a good surrogate indicator for obesity, but not ethnicity.
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