Posted October 22, 2017 in Debra’s Wellness Tips


Debra’s Wellness Tips

Although it is a term many of us have not yet come across, many humans living today have it. According to a recent National Institutes of Health article about the increasing incidence of knee osteoarthritis, eburnation (bone sclerosis) is the result of the rubbing of bone-on-bone in our weight-bearing joints. This degeneration of bone into a hard, ivory-like marble-looking mass is the evidence of osteoarthritis found in skeletons.

For the study, published Aug. 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors examined research spanning more than 6,000 years of human history to search for a tell-tale sign of osteoarthritis.

“When your cartilage erodes away, and two bones that comprise a joint come into direct contact, they rub against each other causing a glass-like polish to develop,” Wallace said. “That polish, called eburnation, is so clear and obvious that we can use it to very accurately diagnose osteoarthritis in skeletal remains.”

His work was combined with that of other contributors to create a record-sized sample of older people from prehistoric times, early industrial times (mainly the 1800s) and the modern era.

Lieberman said the most important comparison was between early industrial and modern samples. The researchers had information about each individual’s age, sex, weight, ethnicity and, often, occupation and cause of death.

“So using careful statistical methods, we are able to say that if you were born after World War II you have approximately twice the likelihood of getting knee osteoarthritis at a given age or BMI than if you were born earlier,” he said. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

~ Skeletons Give Clues to Americans’ Rising Arthritis Rates by Robert Preidt, August 14, 2017

The article states that osteoarthritis might be preventable, like heart disease. More research is needed to understand the exact causes of eburnation.

This week, learn something that is good for your health and well-being, then share it with others.

Tips from 5 April 2010 to 6 August 2012 are here: Archived Tips

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“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” 
~ Mother Teresa

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