FEMALE SWIMMERS HAVE LOW BONE-MINERAL CONTENT AND BONE-DENSITY
Stanforth, D., Stanforth, P. R., Stults-Kolehmainen, M. A., & Crim, B. N. (2013). Female collegiate athlete bone mineral content/density: Differences among sports and changes across three years. Presentation 2365 at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana; May 28-June 1.
This descriptive study compared the total bone-mineral content and bone-density among female collegiate athletes in five sports and analyzed changes in bone-mineral content and bone-density across three years. Between 2003 and 2010, female athletes, 18-23 years of age, from basketball (N = 38), soccer (N = 47), swimming (N = 52), track sprinters/jumpers (N = 49), and volleyball (N = 26) had their bone-mineral content and arm, leg, pelvis, spine, and total bone-density assessed using whole body dual emission x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at pre-season (August/September) and post-season (near end of their respective seasons). A restricted maximum-likelihood linear mixed model regression analysis was performed to determine if bone-mineral content and bone-density differed by sport over a multi-year period.
Basketball had greater bone-mineral content than all other sports. Volleyball had greater bone-mineral content than soccer, track sprinters/jumpers, and swimming. Soccer and track sprinters/jumpers had greater bone-mineral content than swimming. Basketball had greater leg bone-density than volleyball. Swimming had lower leg, pelvis, spine, and total bone-density than all other sports. Volleyball had greater arm, leg, and total bone-density than soccer, and greater leg bone-density than track sprinters/jumpers. Track sprinters/jumpers had greater arm bone-density than soccer. Significant changes over three years included: 1) increases in total bone-mineral content from year 1 to 2 to 3 in basketball and track sprinters/jumpers and from year 1 to 2 and 3 in volleyball. There were no changes in any bone-density measure over the three years.
Implication. Basketball had the highest bone-mineral content and bone-density measures while swimming had the lowest bone-mineral content and bone-density measures. Basketball, track sprinters/jumpers, and volleyball increased bone-mineral content, but not bone-density over three years. The low recordings of swimmers are indicative of the specific anatomical effects that result from participation in that sport.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.