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Type: Journal article
Title: Age-dependent changes of the normal human spine during adulthood
Author: Ruhli, F.
Muntener, M.
Henneberg, M.
Citation: American Journal of Human Biology, 2005; 17(4):460-469
Publisher: Wiley-Liss
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 1042-0533
Statement of
F. J. Rühli, M. Müntener and M. Henneberg
Abstract: The impact of aging on the morphology of the osseous spine is still debated. Clinical studies usually record combined aging effects, as well as age-related degenerative changes. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of (degeneration-independent) aging on the morphology of the osseous human spine during adulthood. Various osseous dimensions of human spinal landmarks at all major vertebral levels have been assessed in macroscopically normal Swiss skeletons (N = 71), with historically known sex and age at death, as well as in larger Central European skeletal samples (N = 277) with anthropologically determined individual age and sex. All measurements were correlated with individual age (or age group) by linear regression and analyzed separately for each sex. Only few osseous spinal dimensions, and only in men, correlate significantly with individual age. Generally, the significant dimensions show an increase in size during adulthood. Similar tendencies, but with significant alterations of spinal measurements in women as well, can be found in the larger samples with anthropologically determined sex and age group. Increase of certain spinal dimensions found in this study may be a reflection of an increase in the robustness of individuals with age. Because of the absence of a significant secular alteration of stature within the well-recorded sample, we exclude secular change in body dimensions as a major bias.
Keywords: Spine; Humans; Age Distribution; Sex Distribution; Aging; Time; Reference Values; Anthropology, Physical; Adult; Middle Aged; Switzerland; Female; Male
Description: Published in American Journal of Human Biology, 2005; 17 (4):460-469 at
RMID: 0020050688
DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.20403
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications

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