Tuberculosis in medieval and early modern Denmark

A paleoepidemiological perspective

Dorthe Dangvard Pedersen*, George R. Milner, Hans Jørn Kolmos, Jesper Lier Boldsen

*Kontaktforfatter for dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Millions of people worldwide have sickened and died from tuberculosis in recent centuries. Yet for most of human existence, the impact of tuberculosis on society is largely unknown. It is, indeed, unknowable without methods suitable for estimating disease prevalence in skeletal samples. Here such a procedure is applied to medieval and early modern Danish skeletons, and it shows how disease prevalence varied with differences in socioeconomic conditions. The approach is based on sensitivity and specificity estimates from modern skeletons. To augment our understanding of tuberculosis in Danish history, 713 adult skeletons were examined, all from Ribe. Tuberculosis increased from 17% to 40% in the medieval to early modern periods in Ribe. Low status (29%) people were more likely to contract the disease than those of high status (10%). The general model, derived from the modern expression of tuberculosis, fits the early modern sample better than it does the medieval skeletons. Differences in the model's fit indicate the skeletal expression changed over time. Notably, rib lesions increased in frequency from the medieval to early modern periods. The approach developed here can provide insights into host-pathogen relationships and disease expression in future work with tuberculosis and other diseases that affect the skeleton.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Paleopathology
Vol/bind27
Sider (fra-til)101-108
ISSN1879-9817
DOI
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019

Fingeraftryk

Denmark
Skeleton
Tuberculosis Societies
History
Tuberculosis
Medieval Period

Citer dette

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abstract = "Millions of people worldwide have sickened and died from tuberculosis in recent centuries. Yet for most of human existence, the impact of tuberculosis on society is largely unknown. It is, indeed, unknowable without methods suitable for estimating disease prevalence in skeletal samples. Here such a procedure is applied to medieval and early modern Danish skeletons, and it shows how disease prevalence varied with differences in socioeconomic conditions. The approach is based on sensitivity and specificity estimates from modern skeletons. To augment our understanding of tuberculosis in Danish history, 713 adult skeletons were examined, all from Ribe. Tuberculosis increased from 17{\%} to 40{\%} in the medieval to early modern periods in Ribe. Low status (29{\%}) people were more likely to contract the disease than those of high status (10{\%}). The general model, derived from the modern expression of tuberculosis, fits the early modern sample better than it does the medieval skeletons. Differences in the model's fit indicate the skeletal expression changed over time. Notably, rib lesions increased in frequency from the medieval to early modern periods. The approach developed here can provide insights into host-pathogen relationships and disease expression in future work with tuberculosis and other diseases that affect the skeleton.",
keywords = "Denmark, Medieval and early modern, Probability measures, Skeletal lesions, Tuberculosis",
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Tuberculosis in medieval and early modern Denmark : A paleoepidemiological perspective. / Dangvard Pedersen, Dorthe; Milner, George R.; Kolmos, Hans Jørn; Boldsen, Jesper Lier.

I: International Journal of Paleopathology, Bind 27, 12.2019, s. 101-108.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Tuberculosis in medieval and early modern Denmark

T2 - A paleoepidemiological perspective

AU - Dangvard Pedersen, Dorthe

AU - Milner, George R.

AU - Kolmos, Hans Jørn

AU - Boldsen, Jesper Lier

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N2 - Millions of people worldwide have sickened and died from tuberculosis in recent centuries. Yet for most of human existence, the impact of tuberculosis on society is largely unknown. It is, indeed, unknowable without methods suitable for estimating disease prevalence in skeletal samples. Here such a procedure is applied to medieval and early modern Danish skeletons, and it shows how disease prevalence varied with differences in socioeconomic conditions. The approach is based on sensitivity and specificity estimates from modern skeletons. To augment our understanding of tuberculosis in Danish history, 713 adult skeletons were examined, all from Ribe. Tuberculosis increased from 17% to 40% in the medieval to early modern periods in Ribe. Low status (29%) people were more likely to contract the disease than those of high status (10%). The general model, derived from the modern expression of tuberculosis, fits the early modern sample better than it does the medieval skeletons. Differences in the model's fit indicate the skeletal expression changed over time. Notably, rib lesions increased in frequency from the medieval to early modern periods. The approach developed here can provide insights into host-pathogen relationships and disease expression in future work with tuberculosis and other diseases that affect the skeleton.

AB - Millions of people worldwide have sickened and died from tuberculosis in recent centuries. Yet for most of human existence, the impact of tuberculosis on society is largely unknown. It is, indeed, unknowable without methods suitable for estimating disease prevalence in skeletal samples. Here such a procedure is applied to medieval and early modern Danish skeletons, and it shows how disease prevalence varied with differences in socioeconomic conditions. The approach is based on sensitivity and specificity estimates from modern skeletons. To augment our understanding of tuberculosis in Danish history, 713 adult skeletons were examined, all from Ribe. Tuberculosis increased from 17% to 40% in the medieval to early modern periods in Ribe. Low status (29%) people were more likely to contract the disease than those of high status (10%). The general model, derived from the modern expression of tuberculosis, fits the early modern sample better than it does the medieval skeletons. Differences in the model's fit indicate the skeletal expression changed over time. Notably, rib lesions increased in frequency from the medieval to early modern periods. The approach developed here can provide insights into host-pathogen relationships and disease expression in future work with tuberculosis and other diseases that affect the skeleton.

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DO - 10.1016/j.ijpp.2018.11.003

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