Histomorphological and Geometric Properties of Human Femoral Cortex in Individuals over 50: Implications for Histomorphological Determination of Age-at-Death

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American Journal of Human Biology

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histomorphological properties, geometric properties, human femoral cortex, 50, histomorphological determination of age-at-death




Cortical area, area moment of inertia, and polar moment of inertia were determined from the midshafts of a series of 62 femurs (34 female and 28 male) from a U. S. white population, ages 51–95. The density of osteons and osteon fragments (per mm2) was also determined. Neither osteon nor osteon fragment density was significantly correlated with age. These variables were correlated, however, with normalized cortical and endosteal areas, normalized area moment of inertia, and polar moment of inertia. Osteon fragment numbers alone are not highly correlated with cross-sectional properties. This research suggests that osteon density and osteon fragment density are significantly related to cortical mass and distribution in older people, but are not a direct function of age in persons over 50 years of age. Histological age estimates in older individuals must, therefore, be used with extreme caution. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.