Long bone length is one of the best-known indicators of human stature. Although the long bone length/height ratio differs in tall and short individuals, no detailed study has investigated whether specific formulae should be used to calculate height in different stature groups. This study proposes a new height estimation method. Body height and tibia length were measured in 121 male subjects aged 18.0-34.3 years. Three subgroups were established according to body height (short, medium, or tall), using the 15th and 85th percentiles as cutoff levels. The general formula and a group-specific regression formula were used to estimate height in each sub-group. A control group with the same properties as the study group was analyzed in the same manner. Particularly with "short" and "tall" subjects, the difference between true height and the height predicted by the group-specific formulae was smaller than the difference observed when the general formula was used. These discrepancies were statistically significant. When estimating height based on tibia length, the individual's general stature category should be taken into consideration, and group-specific formulae should be used for short and tall subjects. (C) 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.