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Validation of the Acetabulum As a Skeletal Indicator of Age at Death in Modern European-Americans

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 64 Issue: 4 Dated: 2019 Pages: 989-1003
Date Published
15 pages

In order to examine the utility of the acetabular variables of Rissech et al. (2006) for aging, this study analyzed these variables in 409 modern European-Americans (Bass Collection, Tennessee).


Progressive changes in the acetabulum have been used in modern skeletal age estimation, but they have not been completely understood. If their age correlations are weakened by the influence of factors like physical activity and obesity, acetabular changes should not be used for age estimation. Correlation tests assessed potential associations between acetabular data, osteoarthritis scores (collected per Jurmain, 1990), and documented demographic information (age, body mass index [BMI], and metabolic intensity of physical activities). Acetabular changes had statistically significant, positive correlations with osteoarthritis (p < 0.001 in most joints/regions) and age (p < 0.001), indicating their degenerative nature and relevance for age estimation. Acetabular changes showed no associations with BMI or metabolic values, suggesting resistance to obesity and activity effects. These results suggest that acetabular degeneration is a valid skeletal age]at]death indicator. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019