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Age-at-death assessed with Lamendin’s original and population-specific models in a modern Brazilian osteological collection

Andrea Baz, Suzana Mantovani, Bianca Santos, Leandro Grecco, Giuliano Gonçalves, Marianna Arakelyan, Jeidson Marques, Ademir Franco

Abstract


Background: Estimating the age-at-death is a common procedure in the fields of forensic human identification and anthropological/archaeological investigations. Root translucency and periodontosis are regressive parameters used to estimate the age of adults, more specifically in Lamendin’s method – established in 1992 in a French population. This study aimed to revisit the method 30 years after the original publication and test its applicability and validity in a Brazilian osteological collection. Methods: The sample consisted of 74 single-rooted teeth obtained from 50 skeletal remains (mean age: 53.20 ± 16.17 years) from Southeast Brazil. Lamendin’s method was applied to enable a comparison between chronological (CA) and estimated ages (EA). A new population-specific equation was designed for the studied sample and the outcomes were compared with those obtained with Lamendin’s original equation. Results: The original methods led to a general underestimation of 11.32 years (8.83 years in males and 15.91 years in females). The method had a better performance among individuals between 40 and 59 years (mean differences between CA and EA: 4.8 years). The population-specific equation led to a mean overestimation of -2.04 years in males, and a mean underestimation of 3.77 years in females. Underestimations were considerably higher in other age groups. Conclusion: Despite the apparent improvements, both the original and the population-specific equations revealed coefficients of concordance that were constantly low between CA and EA. These outcomes suggest restrictions to the application of Lamendin’s method in the forensic field, especially for human identification. The method, however, seems to be applicable for anthropological/archaeological applications.


Keywords


Age-at-death, Age estimation, Forensic Dentistry, Lamendin, Teeth

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