The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Childhood Physiological Stress and Longevity


Economics, Anthropology and History, Ohio State University

Friday 4:30-4:45, Ballroom A Add to calendar

This paper examines the extent to which childhood markers of physiological stress found on skeletal remains affected the age at death of approximately 16,000 individuals who were buried in Europe from approximately 250 AD to 1900 AD. The raw data were assembled as part of the European phase of the Global History of Health Project. The childhood markers are linear enamel hypoplasias, porotic hyperostosis, cribra orbitalia, and femur length. The paper estimates a logistic model of survival to age 30 and to age 40, given survival to young adulthood (indicated by a fused femur), sex and site characteristics. These childhood markers of stress imposed substantial penalties on survival, which is consistent with the idea that high stress environments intensify the aging process as proposed under the childhood origins hypothesis of adult health.

Data collection for this project was funded by the National Science Foundation, grants BCS-0527658 and SES-0138129

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