Date of Award

5-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Anthropology

Major Professor

Lee Meadows Jantz

Committee Members

Lyle W. Konigsberg, Murray K. Marks, Katherine Spradley

Abstract

Osteoarthritis is one of many diseases that accompany the ascension into old age. It has been documented in animals and humans alike. The current research examines porosity’s relationship to osteoarthritis. European American females and African American and European American males from the contemporary William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection are analyzed.

The objective of this study is to determine whether or not a change in the relationship of osteoarthritis severity to porosity severity will occur as the criteria used to identify osteoarthritis changes from osteophytes alone (method I), to eburnation alone (method II), and then both osteophytes and eburnation (method III). The significance of the relationship of osteoarthritis severity to porosity severity is also examined for each method to determine whether or not porosity is related to osteoarthritis. The data reveal that in most instances there is not a change in the relationship of porosity severity to osteoarthritis severity when utilizing method I versus method III to identify osteoarthritis. However, the relationship of osteoarthritis severity to porosity severity changes when utilizing method II (eburnation) as the sole identifying criterion of osteoarthritis. There also appears to be a significant relationship between porosity severity and osteoarthritis severity in the left hips of African American and European American males. Furthermore, in the knee, porosity’s significance to OA, using any of the three methods, tended to be positively correlated with sample size. This suggests that porosity might be related to osteoarthritis and consequently should not be excluded as a criterion for osteoarthritis presence.

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Anthropology Commons

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