Evidence for Arthritis and Specifically Osteoarthritis in the Cobb Collection
- W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory, Howard University
- Department of Biology, Howard University
Arthritis is a chronic disease characterized as the inflammation of joints caused by the degradation of the fundamental cartilage. The symptoms associated with arthritis are severe pain, swelling and stiffness amidst the affected joints which can impede the motility of the affected individual. Consequently, arthritis has risen as the main cause of disability amongst Americans. Although there are a multitude of forms of the disease, one of the most common forms is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs predominantly on joints that endure the pressure of weight such as the knees and hips of the human body. Naturally, the risk of acquiring osteoarthritis increases with age as the cartilage degrades over the course of several years. Currently, between 10%-20% of adults are suffering from a degree of osteoarthritis in North America alone. However, age is not the only variable with which the disease correlates. Studies analyzing knee radiographics have shown that osteoarthritis has a greater prevalence amongst African Americans, more specifically African American women. Therefore, the Cobb Research Lab intends to investigate the African American individuals of the skeletal collection for evidence of osteoarthritis. The determined severity of the disease in each case can give further insight into the identity of the individuals as it suggests age, physical health and range of motility.