University of Oulu

Korpinen, N., Oura, P., Väre, T. et al. Temporal Trends in Vertebral Dimensions – a case study from Finland. Sci Rep 10, 1635 (2020).

Temporal trends in vertebral dimensions : a case study from Finland

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Author: Korpinen, Niina1; Oura, Petteri2,3,4; Väre, Tiina1;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Faculty of Medicine, Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland
6Faculty of Medicine, Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-04-08


Vertebral fractures and other back problems represent a major, increasing worldwide health problem. This has increased the need to better understand the reasons behind this phenomenon. In addition to a reduction in bone mineral density and overall size of the vertebral body, research has indicated a possible association between the shape of the endplate and spinal disorders. As one previous study has shown changes in vertebral body dimensions between contemporary people and their medieval counterparts, we wanted to examine the potential temporal trends in vertebral size and dimensions in Finnish samples of archaeological and contemporary individuals. To conduct this study, we utilized three archaeological populations from the 16th–19th century and clinical materials from two population-based Finnish birth cohorts. As the average height of people has increased greatly since the first time period, we also height-adjusted the dimensions to provide a clearer picture of the dimensional changes that have occurred in the later temporal group. Our results were in agreement with those of the earlier study. The archaeological samples had a larger vertebral size than the contemporary population when height was adjusted for. Vertebral mediolateral width in particular had decreased, and the shape of the vertebral body had changed.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Article number: 1635
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-58340-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
615 History and archaeology
Funding: NFBC1966 received financial support from the University of Oulu, Grant no. 24000692; the Oulu University Hospital, Grant no. 24301140; and the ERDF European Regional Development Fund, Grant no. 539/2010 A31592. The NFBC1986 received financial support from the EU QLG1-CT-2000-01643 (EUROBLCS), Grant no. E51560; the NorFA, Grant no. 731, 20056, 30167; and the USA/NIHH 2000 G DF682, Grant no. 50945. N.K. received financial support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
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