- Oral presentation
- Open Access
Bone mineral density in elite rowers
BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation volume 7, Article number: O6 (2015)
Bone mineral density (BMD) is known to be dependent on the loading pattern associated with a particular sport. High impact sports increases BMD at loaded sites with low impact sports having largely neutral findings . The influence of high level rowing training has not been well explored with relatively small samples within a single category or discipline [2–5].
Subjects (n=125) were internationally competitive. Between 2011-2014 BMD was taken at the lumbar spine (L1-L4) and left femur, by Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, Lunar Prodigy, GE Healthcare), using the same scanner, and a qualified technician. Ethics was approved by the Australian Institute of Sport Human Ethics committee. Subjects gave prior written informed consent. Descriptive statistics are reported as mean ± standard deviation (range), Z-score and T-score. Statistical analysis was performed using independent samples t-test, significance set at p<0.05.
A summary of findings is shown in Table 1. Overall, 5.6 % of rowers had Z ≤-1 at the spine and 1.6% at the femur with none Z <-2. Both spine and femur BMD, T and Z scores were lower for female lightweights than heavyweights. Male spine BMD and T score and femur T score was lower for lightweights relative to heavyweights.
BMD of elite rowers appears to fall largely within the optimal range for the general population however lightweight rowers, tended to have lower BMD than their heavyweight counterparts at all measured sites at the spine and for females also at the femur.
Scofield KL, Hecht S: Bone health in endurance athletes: runners, cyclists, and swimmers. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2012, 11 (6): 328-334. 10.1249/JSR.0b013e3182779193.
Dimitriou L, Weiler R, Lloyd-Smith R, Turner A, Heath L, James N, Reid A: Bone mineral density, rib pain and other features of the female athlete triad in elite lightweight rowers. BMJ Open. 2014, 4 (2): e004369-10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004369.
Young KC, Kendall KL, Patterson KM, Pandya PD, Fairman CM, Smith SW: Rowing Performance, Body Composition, and Bone Mineral Density Outcomes in Collegiate-Level Rowers Following a Season of Concurrent Training. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014, 9 (6): 966-972. 10.1123/ijspp.2013-0428.
Vinther A, Kanstrup IL, Christiansen E, Ekdahl C, Aagaard P: Testosterone and BMD in elite male lightweight rowers. Int J Sports Med. 2008, 29 (10): 803-807. 10.1055/s-2008-1038430.
Vinther A, Kanstrup IL, Christiansen E, Alkjaer T, Larsson B, Magnusson SP, Aagaard P: Exercise-induced rib stress fractures: influence of reduced bone mineral density. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2005, 15 (2): 95-99. 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2004.00400.x.
About this article
Cite this article
Lundy, B., Trease, L. & Michael, D.K. Bone mineral density in elite rowers. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil 7, O6 (2015) doi:10.1186/2052-1847-7-S1-O6
- Bone Mineral Density
- Lower Bone Mineral Density
- Spine Bone Mineral Density
- Australian Institute
- Femur Bone Mineral Density