Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Anthropology



Major Advisor

Margaret Streeter, Ph.D.


Studies have demonstrated lifestyle choices such as poor diet, insufficient exercise and substance abuse can negatively affect bone health. The purpose of this research is to determine if the tissue pathology associated with long term methamphetamine use is a localized response to poor dental hygiene or an indication of a more systemic response that is discernable in the bone microstructure. A comparison of the rib cortical bone microstructure between males that were known to be methamphetamine abusers (N=18) and individuals who did not abuse the drug was undertaken (N=19). Histomorphometric variables calculated in this analysis included mean osteon size, osteon population density (OPD) and cortical area measurement. OPD was found to vary significantly between study and control populations. This study demonstrates that methamphetamine abuse is associated with changes in OPD.