The authors have no conflict of interest.
Bone Loss and Fracture Risk After Reduced Physical Activity†
Article first published online: 18 OCT 2004
Copyright © 2005 ASBMR
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 202–207, February 2005
How to Cite
Nordström, A., Karlsson, C., Nyquist, F., Olsson, T., Nordström, P. and Karlsson, M. (2005), Bone Loss and Fracture Risk After Reduced Physical Activity. J Bone Miner Res, 20: 202–207. doi: 10.1359/JBMR.041012
- Issue published online: 4 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 18 OCT 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 31 AUG 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 5 JUL 2004
- Manuscript Received: 29 MAR 2004
- former athletes;
- peak bone mass;
- physical activity;
Former male young athletes partially lost benefits in BMD (g/cm2) with cessation of exercise, but, despite this, had a higher BMD 4 years after cessation of career than a control group. A higher BMD might contribute to the lower incidence of fragility fractures found in former older athletes ⩾60 years of age compared with a control group.
Introduction: Physical activity increases peak bone mass and may prevent osteoporosis if a residual high BMD is retained into old age.
Materials and Methods: BMD was measured by DXA in 97 male young athletes 21.0 ± 4.5 years of age (SD) and 48 controls 22.4 ± 6.3 years of age, with measurements repeated 5 years later, when 55 of the athletes had retired from sports. In a second, older cohort, fracture incidence was recorded in 400 former older athletes and 800 controls ⩾60 years of age.
Results: At baseline, the young athletes had higher BMD than controls in total body (mean difference, 0.08 g/cm2), spine (mean difference, 0.10 g/cm2), femoral neck (mean difference, 0.13 g/cm2), and arms (mean difference, 0.05 g/cm2; all p < 0.001). During the follow-up period, the young athletes who retired lost more BMD than the still active athletes at the femoral neck (mean difference, 0.07 g/cm2; p = 0.001) and gained less BMD at the total body (mean difference, 0.03 g/cm2; p = 0.004). Nevertheless, BMD was still higher in the retired young athletes (mean difference, 0.06-0.08 g/cm2) than in the controls in the total body, femoral neck, and arms (all p < 0.05). In the older cohort, there were fewer former athletes ⩾60 of age than controls with fragility fractures (2.0% versus 4.2%; p < 0.05) and distal radius fractures (0.75% versus 2.5%; p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Although exercise-induced BMD benefits are reduced after retirement from sports, former male older athletes have fewer fractures than matched controls.