Objective: To evaluate Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and body composition in adolescent female gymnasts with different menstrual status in comparison with normal controls.
Design: Observational, cross-sectional study.
Methods: Twenty oligomenorrheic gymnasts, twenty eumenorrheic gymnasts and twenty age-matched eumenorrheic controls participated in this study. Their ages ranged from 12 to 17 y old. Bone mineral density and body composition were evaluated by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Menstrual status and training profile were assessed through a self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Both oligomenorrheic and eumenorrheic gymnasts had significant lower total BMD, total fat percentage, and total and regional fat mass (P<0.05) when compared with eumenorrheic controls. Also, oligomenorrheic gymnasts had significant lower BMD at arms and legs (P<0.05) when compared with eumenorrheic controls. Trunk lean mass was a strong indicator for trunk BMD in all groups (P<0.05). In oligomenorrheic gymnasts, there were significant positive correlations between BMD and lean and fat mass (at total body, trunk and legs) (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Gymnastics training during puberty is associated with low body mass, total and regional fat mass, and total BMD, regardless of menstrual status.