Deakin University

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Tennis playing initiated before puberty leads to greater skeletal benefits in peri-pubertal boys than girls when training is maintained

conference contribution
posted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by Gaele Ducher, J Black, Robin DalyRobin Daly, C Turner, Shona Bass
Introduction: The purpose of the study was to compare the exercise-induced changes in bone mass and geometry between boys and girls.

Methods: Eighty competitive tennis players (43 boys, 37 girls) aged 7–19 years participated. Pubertal status was self-assessed using Tanner stages (TS 1–5). The dominant and nondominant humeri were compared for DXA-derived bone mass (BMC) and MRI-derived bone geometry [total bone area (TA), medullary area (MA) and cortical bone area (CA)].

Results/Discussion: Exercise-induced side-to-side differences in BMC, TA and CA were significant from TS1 to 5 in boys and girls (p < 0.06). Pre-pubertal (TS1) girls and boys show similar side-to-side difference in BMC after adjustment for training volume (19% vs. 15%, ns). Similar findings were found forTA and CA. In contrast, during puberty (TS2-4) boys displayed greater side-to-side differences than girls for BMC (27% vs. 18%, p < 0.05), TA (13–15% vs. 8%, p < 0.05) and CA (32% vs. 20%, p < 0.01), even after adjustment for tennis history. Girls partly compensated for the lack of an exercise-induced increase in bone size by a reduction of the medullary cavity on the dominant side (−5.5 to −13%, p < 0.05). In post-puberty (TS 5 or postmenarche), the size of the medullary cavity remained smaller on the dominant side in girls (−5% to −9%, p = 0.1–0.05??) whereas no such reduction was observed in boys.

Conclusion: Regular exercise initiated before puberty and maintained throughout puberty leads to greater skeletal benefits in peri-pubertal boys than girls for bone mass and bone size, two of the major determinants of bone strength.



ASICS conference of science and medicine in sport (2008 : Hamilton Is., Queensland)




Hamilton Island

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Published in 'Journal of science and medicine in sport' Vol.12 Supplement 1, January 2009

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E3 Extract of paper

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2008, Elsevier Ltd

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ASICS conference of science and medicine in sport 2008 : abstracts

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