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Age Determination at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa University.

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Abstract:

Background: African doctors, besides their enormous work load, are frequently involved in indirect clinical practices like age determination, disability evaluation and writing various kinds of certificates. This is a retrospective study aimed at assessing profile of subjects presenting for age determination. It determines different characteristics of subjects and the process of age determination. Age determination board/clinic of “Tikur-Anbessa” Specialized Hospital, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University. Methods: This is a retrospective descriptive study from January 2008 to June 2010. Age is estimated at age determination board using medical and skeletal criteria’s by a committee consisting of physicians from internal medicine, radiology and orthopedic departments. All subjects were having elbow and wrist x-rays, sexual maturity assessment and dental examinations. The final age (also referred as “board-age”) is determined/assigned based on the consensus made between the three physicians. This document is signed and strictly/confidentially compiled by the head of outpatient department. Data was collected based on prepared questioner through retrieval of subjects’ records/documents. Results: A total of 976 subjects, with male predominance 67.7%, have been evaluated by the board in the two years. Almost all had stated age range 5-22 years. Majority’s stated age falls in the age group 9-15(66.1%). 92% of subjects claim they are below 18 years of age.838(85.9%) subjects are from Addis Ababa. The board decided that 461 (47.2%) were between 16 and 17 years of age. There was less agreement between stated age and board age with (Kappa) κ score of 0.147. Radiologic age and board age had excellent agreement with κ score of 0.976 Conclusion: Radiologic age is cornerstone of age determination in our circumstance. Age determination is crucial for prosecution of young population using skeletal and clinical method. Most subjects tend to lower their age, hence attention should be given for evidence based age determination.

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