First Rib Metamorphosis: Its Possible Utility for Human Age-At-Death Estimation

Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology (Impact Factor: 2.38). 11/1999; 110(3):303-23. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-8644(199911)110:3<303::AID-AJPA4>3.0.CO;2-O
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Human first ribs demonstrate predictable, sequential changes in shape, size, and texture with increasing age, and thus, can be used as an indicator of age at death. Metamorphosis of the first rib's head, tubercle, and costal face was documented in a cross-sectional sample of preadult and adult first ribs of known age at death from the Hamann-Todd skeletal collection (Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio). Blind tests of the usefulness of the first rib as an age indicator were conducted, including tabulation of intraobserver and interobserver inaccuracies and biases. First rib age estimates show inaccuracies and biases by decade comparable to those generated by other aging techniques. Indeed, the first rib method is useful as an isolated age indicator. When used in conjunction with other age indicators, the first rib improves the quality of summary age assessments.

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Available from: Israel Hershkovitz, Mar 01, 2015
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    • "Bluckberry and Chamberlain, 2002; Igarashi et al., 2005; Lovejoy et al., 1985; Meindl and Lovejoy, 1989), skull sutures (i.e. Meindl and Lovejoy, 1985), the first rib (Kunos et al., 1999) and the costo-sternal epiphysis of the fourth rib ( ˙ Isçan, 1989; ˙ Isçan et al., 1987; Loth and ˙ Isçan, 1989). The performance of ageing methods that consider changes in dental and periodontal tissues, such as the transparency of the root apex, degree of periodontal retraction and pulp chamber dimensions of uniradicular teeth (Drusini et al., 1991; Ermenc, 1997; Foti et al., 2001; Kvaal and Solheim, 1994; Lamendin et al., 1992; Megyesi et al., 2006; Prince and Ubelaker, 2002; Solheim, 1989; Xiaohu et al., 1991), will also be assessed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Osteological reference collections play a key role in bioanthropological research; they allow the development and testing of methods for sexing and ageing individuals using various bone and dental attributes. This paper presents the first stage results of the ongoing Chacarita Research Project, which aims to generate and study a reference collection of adult skeletons representative of the contemporary population of Buenos Aires city. The Chacarita Collection consists of unclaimed human remains of individuals of known nationality, sex, age, cause and date of death from the Chacarita Public Cemetery. Unlike other similar endeavours, this sample has been completely exhumed using archaeological techniques. So far, a total of 146 adult skeletons have been recovered (60 females - 41.1% and 86 males - 58.90%), the majority of which have ages-at-death in the range of 71-90 years. They were born primarily in Argentina (n=133; 91.1%), although other nationalities are also represented. Dates of death range between 1987 and 2000. In the short term, the osteological study of this collection will allow assessment of the performance of classical methods of sex determination and age-at-death estimation in a local setting. A special priority will be given to the study of osteological changes in individuals over 50 years. As the sample is being retrieved by exhumation, the impact of taphonomic agents on the most diagnostic bone structures is also being assessed. In the long term, this osteological collection will be available to generate new population-specific techniques and to develop comparative biological studies.
    Homo: internationale Zeitschrift fur die vergleichende Forschung am Menschen 10/2012; 63(6). DOI:10.1016/j.jchb.2012.06.003 · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    • "Ribs have long been a source of scientific, gastronomic and even theological interest (Anon, 1959; Crocker, 1972; Schmidt & Freyschmidt, 1993; Kunos et al., 1999). Their global anatomic appearance in humans is well characterized (Kunos et al., 1999; Resnick, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study reports the results of a de novo classification and characterization of macroscopically perceiv-able bone alterations relating to the pathologic significance of rib alterations as noted in defleshed bones. We distinguish between nonspecific two-dimensional color alterations and three-dimensional surface modification which appears to have diagnostic significance. Color alterations were patchy in nature with brown being most prominent, followed by creamy, white and orange, but appear taphonomic in nature. Categorization of three dimensional alterations, e.g., periosteal reaction, bumps and holes, identifies which is specific for diagnosis of tuberculosis. Rib periosteal reaction is significantly more common among individuals with tuberculosis than those with non-tubercular pulmonary disease (Chi square = 33.75, p < 0.0001), cancer (Chi square = 5.82, p < 0.02), cardiac disease (Chi square = 7.404, p < 0.008), and others (Chi square = 63.19, p < 0.0001). This study explains past errors in recognition of the signifi-cance of rib alterations.
    Advances in Anthropology 01/2012; 02(02). DOI:10.4236/aa.2012.22007
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    • ") were employed in 15 cases (94%). Kunos et al. (1999) who utilise the first rib was cited on one occasion (6%). It is acknowledged that this low frequency of usage is likely due to poor preservation or problems with the identification of the forth rib. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study assesses the current state of adult skeletal age-at-death estimation in biological anthropology through analysis of data published in recent research articles from three major anthropological and archaeological journals (2004–2009). The most commonly used adult ageing methods, age of ‘adulthood’, age ranges and the maximum age reported for ‘mature’ adults were compared. The results showed a wide range of variability in the age at which individuals were determined to be adult (from 14 to 25 years), uneven age ranges, a lack of standardisation in the use of descriptive age categories and the inappropriate application of some ageing methods for the sample being examined. Such discrepancies make comparisons between skeletal samples difficult, while the inappropriate use of some techniques make the resultant age estimations unreliable. At a time when national and even global comparisons of past health are becoming prominent, standardisation in the terminology and age categories used to define adults within each sample is fundamental. It is hoped that this research will prompt discussions in the osteological community (both nationally and internationally) about what defines an ‘adult’, how to standardise the age ranges that we use and how individuals should be assigned to each age category. Skeletal markers have been proposed to help physically identify ‘adult’ individuals. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 11/2011; 21(6):704 - 716. DOI:10.1002/oa.1179 · 0.95 Impact Factor
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