The 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2018)

Osteoarthritis of the cervical vertebrae, C3-C7, from an identified skeletal collection


Anthropology, georgia state university

April 12, 2018 , Zilker 1/2/3 Add to calendar

Osteoarthritis of the cervical vertebrae, C3-C7 is affected by age, life style, diet, genetics and long-term or extreme skeletomuscular strain. However, the extent to which older adults differ from the elderly and the degree to which sex differences influence the expression of osteoarthritis is difficult to evaluate due to variation in the biological aging process and the absence of post-reproductive age distinctions. We report on the scores of a ranked system from the Chicago Standards to assess osteophytic lipping, porosity and eburnation on the cervical vertebrae of identified individuals from the William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection of the Forensic Anthropology Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. We address whether the expression of osteoarthritic features differs (1) between older adults, 50-55 years, and elderly individuals, 70-76 years, within each sex; (2) between both sexes of the same age category; and (3) between the sexes regardless of age. The sample reflects contemporary variation as all individuals were accessioned from 2000 to 2010. The atlas and axis were excluded because they differ from C3-C7 in morphology and function. The vertebrae were separated by number and analyzed using nonparametric tests. Osteoarthritic lipping is more extreme in males when compared to females. However, older females (50-55 years) exhibit greater eburnation than their elderly counterparts (70-76 years). Both females and males present an increase of osteoarthritic features as a result of advancing age. However, sex differences between elderly (70-76 years) adults are less extreme compared to when all females and males are considered regardless of age.