Trends and Causes of African American Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis within the Cobb Collection

Sierra Williams 1,2

  1. W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory, Howard University
  2. Department of Health, Human Performance and Leisure Studies, Howard University
Like many other health problems, the misconception that African Americans should not be concerned about developing osteoporosis leads to African American women being under diagnosed and treated. Statistically, African American women have a higher bone mineral density than European American women. Bone mineral density represents the strength of the bone and the amount of calcium within the bone. Degeneration and “wear and tear” on the bones will show aging in the bones, a sign of osteoarthritis. It is a condition expected to be seen in the collection due to the lifestyles of the individuals. Within the Cobb Collection we will be looking for the presence of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis likely caused by disease, poor nutrition, inadequate physical activity, excessive thinness and being post menopausal. There are increased risks of fracture and bone strength with those suffering from osteoporosis. By observing the skeletal remains we will be able to recognize some of these conditions that may cause osteoporosis. From our observations we hope to validate the presence of bone disease in the African American females of the CC, though we anticipate the prevalence to be much lower than that of their white counterparts. This study will focus on a subset of African American and European American post-menopausal women, who from clinical and physical clues suggest evidence of bone disease. These groups will then be analyzed for statistical significance using ANOVA/t-test. We hope to shed light on the need for further research in the area of bone disease in African Americans.
Cobb Lab