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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2001 Giugno;41(2):243-9
Calcaneal bone mineral and ultrasound attenuation in male athletes exposed to weight-bearing and nonweight-bearing activity. A cross-sectional report
Taaffe D. R., Suominen H., Ollikainen S., Cheng S.
From the Department of Health Sciences University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Background. To determine if the expected differences in bone mineral content/density of the calcaneus among male athletic groups that undertake weight-bearing and nonweight-bearing activity are also apparent for bone “quality” as assessed by quantitative ultrasound (QUS) attenuation.
Methods. Experimental design: cross-sectional. Setting: a University research laboratory. Participants: we studied 30 young men: 10 Finnish national level jumpers whose training incorporates repeated impacts to the heel, 10 aquatics athletes whose skeletons are exposed to nonweight-bearing activity, and 10 sedentary men matched for age and body weight. Measures: bone mineral content (BMC, g·cm-1), areal bone mineral density (BMDa; g·cm-2) and presumed volumetric BMD (BMDv, g·cm-3) was measured by single energy photon absorption (SPA). Broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA using Fourier spectral estimation and UBI-4 using Burg spectral estimation, both in db/MHz) was assessed by a new QUS device (QUS-1TM, Metra Biosystems).
Results. There was no difference in years of sport specific training or total training time per week between athlete groups. BMC, BMDa and BMDv were significantly different among groups (p=0.0001) with jumpers being higher than aquatics athletes and controls. BMC of jumpers was 52% and 39% higher than controls and aquatics athletes, respectively, while the corresponding values for BMDv were 34% and 28%. However, BUA values were not significantly different (p=0.10) among groups nor was UBI-4 (p=0.03; jumpers values were 7% and 6% higher than aquatics athletes and controls, respectively).
Conclusions. These cross-sectional results indicate that bone mineral content and density of the calcaneus are substantially higher in jumpers than individuals engaged in nonweight-bearing or regular weight-bearing activity. However, parameters assessed by QUS attenuation are not markedly different, which suggests that bone “quality” properties may not be as responsive as that of bone mineral content/density to habitual skeletal loading.