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The effect of age, sex, and physical activity on entheseal morphology in a contemporary Italian skeletal collection


Milella, M; Belcastro, M G; Zollikofer, C P E; Mariotti, V (2012). The effect of age, sex, and physical activity on entheseal morphology in a contemporary Italian skeletal collection. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 148(3):379-388.

Abstract

Entheseal changes are traditionally included in a large array of skeletal features commonly referred to as “skeletal markers of activity.” However, medical studies and recent anthropological analyses of identified skeletal series suggest a complex combination of physiological and biomechanical factors underlying the variability of such “markers.” The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between age, sex, physical activity, and entheseal variability. To this end, 23 postcranial entheses are examined in a large (N = 484) Italian contemporary skeletal series using standardized scoring methods. The sample comprises subjects of known age, sex and, mostly, occupation. Results show a strong relationship between age and entheseal changes. Differences between sexes are also highlighted, while the effects of physical activity appear moderate. Altogether, our study indicates that entheseal morphology primarily reflects the age of an individual, while correlation with lifetime activity remains ambiguous.

Abstract

Entheseal changes are traditionally included in a large array of skeletal features commonly referred to as “skeletal markers of activity.” However, medical studies and recent anthropological analyses of identified skeletal series suggest a complex combination of physiological and biomechanical factors underlying the variability of such “markers.” The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between age, sex, physical activity, and entheseal variability. To this end, 23 postcranial entheses are examined in a large (N = 484) Italian contemporary skeletal series using standardized scoring methods. The sample comprises subjects of known age, sex and, mostly, occupation. Results show a strong relationship between age and entheseal changes. Differences between sexes are also highlighted, while the effects of physical activity appear moderate. Altogether, our study indicates that entheseal morphology primarily reflects the age of an individual, while correlation with lifetime activity remains ambiguous.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:30 Apr 2012 07:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:47
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0002-9483
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.22060
PubMed ID:22460619

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