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Bone Mineral Density in Elite DanceSport Athletes

Helena Kruusamäe, Katre Maasalu, Jaak Jürimäe
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 31 Number 1: Page 25 (March 2016)

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Abstract: This study compared bone mineral density (BMD) variables of female and male elite dancesport athletes with untrained control subjects of the same gender. Sixty-six elite dancesport athletes (M 33, F 33) and 64 untrained controls (M 34, F 31) participated in this study. Elite dancesport athletes were dancing couples competing at the international level. Whole-body bone mineral content and whole-body, forearm, lumbar-spine, and femoral-neck BMD, as well as whole-body fat mass and fat free mass, were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. There were no differences (p>0.05) in height and body mass between dancers and controls of the same gender, but percent body fat was lower (p<0.05) in dancers of both genders than in untrained controls. Elite dancesport athletes had significantly higher femoral-neck BMD, and male dancers also higher whole-body BMD values when compared with controls of the same gender. All other measured bone mineral values did not differ between the groups of the same gender. In addition, training experience was positively correlated with whole-body BMD (r=0.27; p<0.05) in dancesport athletes. Based on this study, it can be concluded that elite dancesport athletes have higher BMD values at the weight-bearing site (femoral-neck BMD), while other measured areas and whole-body bone mineral values do not differ from the corresponding values of healthy sedentary controls of the same gender. According to our results, low BMD is not an issue for elite female dancesport athletes, despite their lower percent body fat values.

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