The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)


An analysis of the relationship between degenerative joint disease and enthesopathies in Korea’s Joseon dynasty population

EUN JIN WOO1 and SUNYOUNG PAK1.

1Anthropology, Seoul National University, 2Anthropology, Seoul National University

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The aim of this research is to examine the relationship between degenerative joint disease (DJD) and enthesopathies while taking different peripheral joints, types of entheses (i.e., fibrous, fibrocartilaginous), and the criteria of DJD diagnosis into account. We hypothesize that the association between DJD and enthesopathies would be differentially represented along the characteristics of joints and the types of entheses, and the diagnostic criteria of DJD (i.e., lipping or osteophytes, pitting or porosity, and eburnation). In this research, 170 individuals from Eunpyeong cemetery (Seoul,Korea, mid 15th-early 20th centuries) were analyzed. The occurences of DJD and enthesopathies at 6 peripheral joints –shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle- were compared by Fisher’s exact test in which age and sex were controlled.

The results revealed that there is a significant association between DJD and enthesopathies regardless of the characteristics of joints and types of entheses. The DJD scores were positively correlated with the enthesopathies scores as they had been in previous studies. As to the criteria for DJD, osteophytes and eburnation were correlated with the enthesopathies scores more than porosity. The results suggest that when DJD is used in conjunction with enthesopathies, it would be possible to show more reliable evidences for actual life conditions than when only one indicator is used. As to the criteria for DJD, porosity might not be an unrelated criterion.

This study was funded by theSeoulNationalUniversity, Brain Fusion Program Research Grant (2010).

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