Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Several studies have described
the importance of bone and soft tissue paleopathology in detecting and tracing
various diseases from the dawn of human civilization.1,2 Skeletal
manifestations of hyperparathyroidism have only rarely been identified in
historic material. In the previously oldest example, from a Roman period cemetery
from the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt,3 the diagnosis
was suggested by histomorphometric analysis of bone sections. We describe
the findings in what we believe represents the oldest published example of
hyperparathyroidism, dating to the Early Neolithic period, around 7000 years
Zink AR, Panzer S, Fesq-Martin M, Burger-Heinrich E, Wahl J, Nerlich AG. Evidence for a 7000-Year-Old Case of Primary Hyperparathyroidism. JAMA. 2005;293(1):36–42. doi:10.1001/jama.293.1.40-c
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