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

Prisca Eser, Briony Hill, Gaele Ducher, Shona Bass
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2009, 24 (12): 1981-8
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 <or=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 <or= 0.01) in the retired gymnasts; likewise, BMC and total CSA were significantly greater at the distal radius (22-25%, p <or= 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 <or= 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.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"