The Impact of Intense Training on Endogenous Estrogen and Progesterone Concentrations and Bone Mineral Acquisition in Adolescent Rowers
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The effect of 18 months of training on the ovarian hormone concentrations and bone mineral density (BMD) accrual was assessed longitudinally in 14 adolescent rowers and 10 matched controls, aged 14–15 years. Ovarian hormone levels were assessed by urinary estrone glucuronide (E1G) and pregnanediol glucuronide (PdG) excretion rates, classifying the menstrual cycles as ovulatory or anovulatory. Total body (TB), total proximal femur (PF), femoral neck (FN) and lumbar spine (LS) (L2–4) bone mass were measured at baseline and 18 months using dual-energy X-ray densitometry. Results were expressed as bone mineral content (BMC), BMD and bone mineral apparent density (BMAD). Five rowers had anovulatory menstrual cycles compared with zero prevalence for the control subjects. Baseline TB BMD was significantly higher in the ovulatory rowers, with PF BMD, FN BMD and LS BMD similar for all groups. At completion, the LS bone accrual of the ovulatory rowers was significantly greater (BMC 8.1%, BMD 6.2%, BMAD 6.2%) than that of the anovulatory rowers (BMC 1.1%, BMD 3.9%, BMAD 1.6%) and ovulatory controls (BMC 0.5%, BMD 1.1%, BMAD 1.1%). No difference in TB, PF or FN bone accrual was observed among groups. This study demonstrated an osteogenic response to mechanical loading, with the rowers accruing greater bone mass than the controls at the lumbar spine. However, the exercise-induced osteogenic benefits were less when rowing training was associated with low estrogen and progesterone metabolite excretion.
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