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Ref ID: 27586
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Pietrusewsky, Michael
Douglas, Michele Toomay
Swift, Marilyn K.
Harper, Randy A.
Fleming, Michael A.
Title: Sex and geographic differences in health of the early inhabitants of the Mariana Islands
Date: 2016
Source: Asian Perspectives
DOI: 10.1353/asi.2016.0012
Abstract: The early inhabitants of the Mariana Islands encountered numerous challenges that likely affected their health, including island size, vulnerability to natural disasters, availability of resources, and shifts in climate. Other factors that could have led to differences in health include biological sex, social status, diet, and genetic factors (e.g., host resistance). This article examines the effects of environment and biological sex on the health of the earliest inhabitants of the Mariana Islands through an analysis of indicators of health recorded in skeletons from Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. The indicators of health investigated include cribra orbitalia (CO), linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH), stature, trauma, infection, and dental disease (antemortem tooth loss [AMTL], dental caries, alveolar defect, dental calculus, and attrition). Betel staining of teeth is also examined. To determine if there are differences attributable to sex, male and female data are compared for each island separately and then for all the islands combined. To examine differences between islands, separate comparisons of these indicators are made for males and females. Examining islands separately, no significant sex differences were observed for CO, spondylolysis, fractures, treponemal infection, AMTL, or dental calculus. Significant sex differences were observed for LEH, betel-stained teeth, and the other dental pathologies. With few exceptions, sex differences in the observed indicators were consistent across islands. Observing male and female health across the islands revealed no significant differences for stature, trauma or infections. For the remaining indicators, significant differences were observed. Similarities in health between Guam and Rota in the south and Tinian and Saipan located farther north suggest that geography, environmental constraints, and social and cultural networking were important variables affecting the health and lives of the early inhabitants of the Mariana Islands.
Date Created: 10/19/2016
Volume: 55
Number: 1
Page Start: 28
Page End: 60