Rain, temperature, and child-adolescent height among Native Amazonians in Bolivia

R. Godoy*, E. Goodman, V. Reyes-Garcia, D. T.A. Eisenberg, W. R. Leonard, T. Huanca, T. W. McDade, S. Tanner, N. Jha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Global climate change and recent studies on early-life origins of well-being suggest that climate events early in life might affect health later in life. Aim: The study tested hypotheses about the association between the level and variability of rain and temperature early in life on the height of children and adolescents in a foraging-farming society of native Amazonians in Bolivia (Tsimane'). Subject and methods: Measurements were taken for 525 children aged 2-12 and 218 adolescents aged 13-23 in 13 villages in 2005. Log of standing height was regressed on mean annual level and mean intra-annual monthly coefficient of variation (CV) of rain and mean annual level of temperature during gestation, birth year, and ages 2-4. Controls include age, quinquennium and season of birth, parent's attributes, and dummy variables for surveyors and villages. Results: Climate variables were only related with the height of boys age 2-12. The level and CV of rain during birth year and the CV of rain and level of temperature during ages 2-4 were associated with taller stature. There were no secular changes in temperature (1973-2005) or rain (1943-2005). Conclusion: The height of young females and males is well protected from climate events, but protection works less well for boys ages 2-12.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-293
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Bolivia
  • Rain
  • Temperature
  • Tsimane'
  • Weather variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Physiology
  • Epidemiology


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