The Effect of Professional Sports Participation on Bone Content and Density in Elite Female Athletes
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

The role of exercise in osteoporosis prevention has been proven. Nevertheless, there is no consensus about the types of sports, especially at professional levels. Non-impact sports such as swimming may have a negative effect or no effect.


Thus, the present study aimed to compare the effect of different sports on bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) of elite female athletes.


This was a cross-sectional study consisting of 48 athletes in five groups of long-distance running, volleyball, basketball, swimming (n = 12 for each), and ten control subjects. For measuring the lumbar spine (L2 - L4) and proximal femur (femoral neck, trochanter, and Ward’s triangle), the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) method was applied.


Indicated that the running, basketball, and volleyball groups had a significantly higher lumbar spine and proximal femur BMD than the swimming and control groups (P < 0.05). Running resulted in significantly higher lumbar spine BMC compared to volleyball, basketball, swimming, and control groups, respectively (P < 0.01), while basketball had higher proximal femur BMC than running and controls (P < 0.01). The Z-score of the lumbar spine in the running was significantly higher than in basketball, swimming, and controls (P < 0.05), while basketball had a significantly higher femur neck Z-score than volleyball, running, and controls (P < 0.001). Finally, the swimmers had significantly higher Z-scores in the lumbar and the proximal femur than non-athletes (P < 0.001).


Although all sports are effective for improving the bone health, the swimmers had much better bone status than non-athletes, while the sports of long-distance running and basketball were more efficient than others; therefore, a combination of endurance and jumping exercises seems to be the best way to prevent osteoporosis.

Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, Volume:13 Issue: 2, Jun 2022
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