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Circaseptennial rhythm in ear growth

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7072.1597 (Published 21 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1597
  1. Jos Verhulst, associated researcher (jozef.verhulst@ping.be)a,
  2. Patrick Onghena, associate professor in educational statisticsb
  1. a Louis Bolk Institute, Driebergen, Netherlands
  2. b Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to: Dr J Verhulst, Karel Oomsstraat 57, B-2018 Antwerp, Belgium.

    Recently, Heathcote reported enduring growth in the ears of male patients (on average 0.22 mm a year in patients aged 30 or over).1 Our previous work had made us aware of the existence of a circaseptennial (about seven years) rhythm in certain developmental aspects of the human skull.2 We therefore decided to examine the data of Heathcote for a possible seven year periodicity in ear growth.

    Methods and results

    For every age we calculated the mean ear length from Heathcote's raw data. We produced an uninterrupted sequence of yearly ear length values from the age of 30 to 83 (data were missing at certain ages above the age of 83). …

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