Skeletal benefits after long-term retirement in former elite female gymnasts

Eser, Prisca, Hill, Briony, Ducher, Gaele and Bass, Shona 2009, Skeletal benefits after long-term retirement in former elite female gymnasts, Journal of bone and mineral research, vol. 24, no. 12, pp. 1981-1987, doi: 10.1359/jbmr.090521.

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Title Skeletal benefits after long-term retirement in former elite female gymnasts
Author(s) Eser, Prisca
Hill, BrionyORCID iD for Hill, Briony
Ducher, Gaele
Bass, Shona
Journal name Journal of bone and mineral research
Volume number 24
Issue number 12
Start page 1981
End page 1987
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2009-12
ISSN 0884-0431
Keyword(s) pQCT
retired athletes
bone geometry
Summary Bone strength benefits after long-term retirement from elite gymnastics in terms of bone geometry and volumetric BMD were studied by comparing retired female gymnasts to moderately active age-matched women. In a cross-sectional study, 30 retired female gymnasts were compared with 30 age-matched moderately active controls. Bone geometric and densitometric parameters were measured by pQCT at the distal epiphyses and shafts of the tibia, femur, radius, and humerus. Muscle cross-sectional areas were assessed from the shaft scans. Independent t-tests were conducted on bone and muscle variables to detect differences between the two groups. The gymnasts had retired for a mean of 6.1 ± 0.4 yr and were engaged in ≤2 h of exercise per week since retirement. At the radial and humeral shafts, cortical cross-sectional area (CSA), total CSA, BMC, and strength strain index (SSIpol) were significantly greater (13–38%, p ≤ 0.01) in the retired gymnasts; likewise, BMC and total CSA were significantly greater at the distal radius (22–25%, p ≤ 0.0001). In the lower limbs, total CSA and BMC at the femur and tibia shaft were greater by 8–11%, and trabecular BMD and BMC were only greater at the tibia (7–8%). Muscle CSA at the forearm and upper arm was greater by 15–17.6% (p ≤ 0.001) but was not different at the upper and lower leg. Past gymnastics training is associated with greater bone mass and bone size in women 6 yr after retirement. Skeletal benefits were site specific, with greater geometric adaptations (greater bone size) in the upper compared with the lower limbs.
Language eng
DOI 10.1359/jbmr.090521
Field of Research 110602 Exercise Physiology
Socio Economic Objective 920505 Occupational Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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