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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 June;39(2):154-9
Regional and total body bone mineral density in elite collegiate male swimmers
Taaffe D. R. 1, 2, Marcus R. 1
1 Muskuloskeletal Research Laboratory, Aging Study Unit, Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, California, USA;
2 Human Movement Studies Unit, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia
Background. To examine the role of long-term swimming exercise on regional and total body bone mineral density (BMD) in men.
Methods. Experimental design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Musculoskeletal research laboratory at a medical center. Participants: We compared elite collegiate swimmers (n=11) to age-, weight-, and height-matched non-athletic controls (n=11).
Measures: BMD (g/cm2) of the lumbar spine (L2-4), proximal femur (femoral neck, trochanter, Ward’s triangle), total body and various subregions of the total body, as well as regional and total body fat and bone mineral-free lean mass (LM) was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA, Hologic QDR 1000/W).
Results. Swimmers, who commenced training at 10.7±3.7 yrs (mean±SD) and trained for 24.7±4.2 hrs per week, had a greater amount of LM (p<0.05), lower fat mass (p<0.001) and percent body fat (9.5 vs 16.2%, p<0.001) than controls. There was no significant difference between groups for regional or total body BMD. In stepwise multiple regression analysis, body weight was a consistent independent predictor of regional and total body BMD.
Conclusions. These results suggest that long-term swimming is not an osteogenic mode of training in college-aged males. This supports our previous findings in young female swimmers who displayed no bone mass benefits despite long-standing athletic training.