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Bone loss and fracture risk after reduced physical activity.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
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2005 (English)In: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, ISSN 0884-0431, E-ISSN 1523-4681, Vol. 20, no 2, 202-207 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Former male young athletes partially lost benefits in BMD (g/cm2) with cessation of exercise, but, despite this, had a higher BMD 4 years after cessation of career than a control group. A higher BMD might contribute to the lower incidence of fragility fractures found in former older athletes > or =60 years of age compared with a control group. INTRODUCTION: Physical activity increases peak bone mass and may prevent osteoporosis if a residual high BMD is retained into old age. MATERIALS AND METHODS: BMD was measured by DXA in 97 male young athletes 21.0 +/- 4.5 years of age (SD) and 48 controls 22.4 +/- 6.3 years of age, with measurements repeated 5 years later, when 55 of the athletes had retired from sports. In a second, older cohort, fracture incidence was recorded in 400 former older athletes and 800 controls > or =60 years of age. RESULTS: At baseline, the young athletes had higher BMD than controls in total body (mean difference, 0.08 g/cm2), spine (mean difference, 0.10 g/cm2), femoral neck (mean difference, 0.13 g/cm2), and arms (mean difference, 0.05 g/cm2; all p < 0.001). During the follow-up period, the young athletes who retired lost more BMD than the still active athletes at the femoral neck (mean difference, 0.07 g/cm2; p = 0.001) and gained less BMD at the total body (mean difference, 0.03 g/cm2; p = 0.004). Nevertheless, BMD was still higher in the retired young athletes (mean difference, 0.06-0.08 g/cm2) than in the controls in the total body, femoral neck, and arms (all p < 0.05). In the older cohort, there were fewer former athletes > or =60 of age than controls with fragility fractures (2.0% versus 4.2%; p < 0.05) and distal radius fractures (0.75% versus 2.5%; p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Although exercise-induced BMD benefits are reduced after retirement from sports, former male older athletes have fewer fractures than matched controls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 20, no 2, 202-207 p.
Keyword [en]
Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Bone Density, Case-Control Studies, Cohort Studies, Densitometry; X-Ray, Exercise, Fractures; Bone/*diagnosis/*epidemiology, Hockey, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoporosis/prevention & control, Risk, Soccer, Sports, Time Factors
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-14826DOI: 10.1359/JBMR.041012PubMedID: 15647813OAI: diva2:154498
Available from: 2007-10-26 Created: 2007-10-26 Last updated: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bone mass and physical activity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bone mass and physical activity
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]


Weak and osteoporotic bones in old age are an increasing cause of mortality and painful physical impairment of the elderly, especially in the western world. Bone mineral accrual during childhood and adolescence is thought to play a vital role in preventing osteoporosis. Identifying and optimizing the factors influencing peak bone mass is thus important for the prevention of osteoporosis and related fractures.

A main aim of this thesis was to investigate the potential effects of various types of weight-bearing physical activity on bone accretion in young males just out of puberty. The results from our subgroups of athletes consisting of badminton, ice hockey, and soccer players suggest that weight-bearing physical activity gives rise to regional specific bone response that is determined by the degree of impact of the activity in areas subject to mechanical loading (papers I–IV). In summary, the bone is sensitive to loading after puberty in males, and important bone mass gains can be achieved by proper amount and type of exercise.

Another aim of this thesis was to studythe effect of detraining on weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing bone in a cohort of adolescent males who participated in ice hockey and soccer training. Our results indicate that exercise-induced bone mineral density benefits decline, predominantly in weight-bearing bones, after retirement from an active sports career (papers II–IV). High bone density stemming from physical loading might be at least partly preserved even by reduced physical activity at nonweight-bearing sites after about three years of reduced activity (III, IV).

A final aim was to follow prospectively the development of BMD during years of reduced activity in former male athletes, and evaluate whether exercise during adolescence could be associated with fewer fractures in old age. We found fewer fragility fractures in a cohort of 400 former athletes compared to in 800 age-matched controls. Thus, high bone density stemming from previous weight-bearing physical activity may reduce the risk of sustaining fragility fractures in the elderly.

Key words: physical activity, peak bone mineral density, males.

50 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 881
Medicine, physical activity, peak bone mineral density, males, fractures, Medicin
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-224 (URN)91-7305-618-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-04-23, Sal 9B, 9 tr, Tandläkarhögskolan, Norrlands Universitets Sjukhus, 901 85, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2004-03-31 Created: 2004-03-31 Last updated: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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