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Type: Journal article
Title: Linear enamel hypoplasia and historical change in a central Australian community
Author: Littleton, J.
Townsend, G.
Citation: Australian Dental Journal, 2005; 50(2):101-107
Publisher: Australian Dental Assn Inc
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0045-0421
Statement of
J Littleton and GC Townsend
Abstract: Background: The current study extends the use of linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) to examine the historical changes in living conditions encountered by Aboriginal people at Yuendumu who were born between 1890 and 1960. LEH provides health information beyond written records and gives insight into the relationship between individual health and living conditions during initial and ongoing contact with Europeans. Materials and Methods: The dental casts of 446 people, collected as part of the University of Adelaide longitudinal study of growth and development, were recorded for the presence of hypoplastic defects. Defects were recorded according to the Development Defects of the Enamel (DDE) standards and assigned to developmental units based on their crown position. Results: The frequency of LEH on the permanent dentitions increased five-fold from the 1890-1929 birth cohort to the 1955-1960 cohort. LEH also affected earlier developing enamel units. Deciduous defects did not show a strong temporal trend but overall prevalence was comparable to other disadvantaged groups. Conclusion: The changes in permanent LEH frequency and age distribution correspond to altered living conditions with the worst hypoplasia recorded after settlement of Aboriginal people at Yuendumu. Prior to that period LEH was comparable to precontact Australian populations indicating that resettlement had a dramatic impact on childhood morbidity.
Keywords: Developmental defects of enamel
Australian Aboriginal health
Description: The document attached has been archived with permission from the Australian Dental Association. An external link to the publisher’s copy is included.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2005.tb00348.x
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