Estimation de l'âge au décès d'individus français contemporains. Apport d'un échantillon virtuel à la méthode de Brooks et Suchey

Abstract : Age at death estimation is a major step in forensic identification. The Suchey-Brooks' method is commonly used and based on observation of the maturation and degeneration processes of pubic symphysis. However, the reference sample may have an effect on the estimated age. The Suchey-Brooks' sample has been tested on numerous collections and the authors note that the estimated age is affected by the interpopulation variability. In addition, in the area of ??paleodemography, researchers found the age structure of the target sample tended to be similar to the reference sample. Thus, the authors highlight the importance of having samples "population specific" with a uniform distribution of age, especially for contemporary French individuals. Medical imaging techniques, particularly computed tomography, provide a suitable means for developing such a database. The aim of our first study was to test the reliability of the Suchey-Brooks' method on a virtual sample of contemporary French male individuals. We carried out a retrospective study of 680 pubic symphyses of adult male individuals who underwent a computed tomography examination in two hospitals (Toulouse and Tours, France) between January 2013 and July 2014. The results showed an overestimation of the actual age for phases I and II and an underestimation of the actual age for stages IV, V and VI. In addition, the mean stages of the reference sample were significantly lower for the 14 to 25 age group and were significantly higher for individuals over 35 years of age. The aim of our second study was to test a virtual reference sample with a uniform age structure in order to improve the accuracy of the age estimation in individuals over 40 years of age. We retrospectively built a virtual reference sample of 1100 pubic symphyses from CT scans carried out in two hospitals between January 2013 and July 2015. A test sample composed of 75 pubic symphyses was built from post-mortem computed tomography examinations performed at the forensic department of Montpellier (France). Compared to the Suchey-Brooks' reference sample, using our sample improved precision for male individuals over 55 years of age and a smaller underestimation for male individuals aged 56 to 70 years. Similarly, there was an improvement in accuracy for females over 70 and a smaller underestimation for females over 55 years of age. Contributions of our work are as follows: the Suchey-Brooks' method should be used with caution in France, as the age estimate is limited by a lack of reliability related to interpopulation variability. Our results are consistent with the previous results and confirm them for the French population. In the future, the Suchey-Brooks method could benefit from an update of the sample of references by creating new samples specific to each population. In addition, our work allowed us to present a large database of pubic symphyses that could constitute a virtual French reference sample that could improve the reliability and accuracy of the age at death estimation.
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Frédéric Savall. Estimation de l'âge au décès d'individus français contemporains. Apport d'un échantillon virtuel à la méthode de Brooks et Suchey. Anthropologie biologique. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU30384⟩. ⟨tel-02156889⟩

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