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An investigation into the association of bone characteristics and body composition with stress fracture in athletes.

Varley, Ian and Stebbings, Georgina and Williams, Alun G and Day, Stephen and Hennis, Phil and Scott, Reece and Grazette, Neval and Herbert, Adam J (2021) An investigation into the association of bone characteristics and body composition with stress fracture in athletes. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. ISSN 0022-4707

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to establish the bone and body composition characteristics of high-level athletes with and without a history of stress fracture injury. METHODS: 279 high-level athletes (212 men, 67 women) (age 28.0 ± 9.2 years; body mass 75.0 ± 17.4kg; height 1.78 ± 0.10m) and 112 non-athletic controls (60 women, 52 men) 36.2 ± 15.0 years; 70.9 ± 12.9kg; 1.71 ± 0.10m) were assessed by DXA to establish their bone mineral density and content, body fat and lean mass. Athletes completed a questionnaire detailing their stress fracture history. RESULTS: There were no differences in whole-body bone mineral density (men 1.41 ± 0.12g/cm2, women 1.19 ± 0.09g/cm2), bone mineral content (men 3709 ± 626g,women 2263 ± 290g), body fat (men 16.3± 5.0%,women 23.0 ± 4.6%) and lean mass (men 65.4 ± 9.9kg,women 38.7 ± 3.6kg) between athletes with a history of stress fracture (34 men, 16 women) and those without (176 men, 40 women). CONCLUSIONS: DXA derived bone and body composition characteristics were not independent risk factors for stress fracture injury in high-level athletes. This study in a large cohort of high-level athletes provides normative bone and body composition values that can be used as a benchmark for researchers and applied practitioners.

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