Comparative analysis of age prediction by markers of bone change in the hand assessed by roentgenography

David Karasik, Itshak Otremski, Igor Barach, Konstantin Yakovenko, Valery Batsevich, Oleg Pavlovsky, Eugene Kobyliansky, Gregory Livshits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The major aim of this study was to develop an accurate method of age prediction for a wide range of ages based on the roentgenographic assessment of the hand bones. Such a method may be of particular interest in paleoanthropology and forensic medicine. The present paper provides the results of an analysis of individuals belonging to two ethnically different population samples: 1) Chuvasha (the Russian Federation), 293 males and 254 females, aged 18-91 and 18-86 years, respectively; and 2) Turkmenians (the Republic of Turkmenia), 257 males and 386 females, aged 18-82 and 17-83 years, respectively. The hands of study participants were roentgenographed with standard methodology. For each roentgenogram an equidistant osseographic score (OSS) including the descriptive criteria of bone age was estimated. In addition, an osteoarthritic and an osteoporotic score (OA and OP, respectively) were assigned to each individual. OA was a modification of the Kellgren/Lawrence scale, whereas the OP was locally developed. Results of the multiple logistic regression analysis clearly indicated that OSS is a strong predictor variable of an individual's age, with R reaching 0.93 in Chuvasha and 0.89 in Turkmenians (P < 0.001). The standard errors of estimate were approximately ±5-7 years and compared favorably with most known methods of age assessment using bones. This study provides an efficient method of age prediction, with acceptable accuracy, and extends the upper limit of prediction to the age of 70 years. An additional finding of interest was the coexistence of OA and OP in the bones of the same hand. The observed correlation between these two conditions reached 0.8 (P < 0.001).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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