CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS
Osteoporosis - men
Low bone mineral density in highly trained male master cyclists.
The purpose of this study was to determine total and regional bone mineral density (BMD)
in highly competitive young adult and master male cyclists. Three groups of men were
studied: older cyclists (51.2+/-5.3 years, n=27); young adult cyclists (31.7+/-3.5 years,
n=16); and 24 non-athletes matched by age (+/-2 years) and body weight (+/-2 kg) to the
master cyclists. All of the master cyclists had been training and racing for a minimum
of 10 years (mean 20.2+/-8.4 years) and engaging in little to no weight-bearing exercise.
The younger cyclists also engaged in little weight-bearing exercise and had been training
and racing for 10.9+/-3.2 years. Age-matched controls were normally active. The History
of Leisure Activity Questionnaire was used to determine the influence on BMD of
self-reported total and weight-bearing exercise during three periods of life: 12-18
years, 19-34 years, and 35-49 years. BMD (measured by DXA) of the spine (L2-L4) and
total hip was significantly (P<0.033) lower in the master cyclists compared to both
age-matched controls and young adult cyclists. Total body BMD was lower in the master
cyclists compared to the young-adults (P<0.033). Furthermore, four (15%) of the master
cyclists, but none of the men in the other groups, had T-scores (spine and/or hip) lower
than -2.5. Weight-bearing exercise performed during teen and young adult years did not
appear to influence BMD, as there were no differences at any site between those within
the upper and lower 50th percentiles for weight-bearing exercise during the 12-18, 19-34,
or 35-49 year time periods. These data indicate that master cyclists with a long history
of training exclusively in cycling have low BMD compared to their age-matched peers.
Although highly trained and physically fit, these athletes may be at high risk for
developing osteoporosis with advancing age.
- Nichols JF, Palmer JE, Levy SS.
- Department of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-7251, USA.
- Osteoporos Int. 2003 Aug;14(8):644-9. Epub 2003 Jul 11.
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