Article Text

Download PDFPDF


Statistics from


K. Ward1, J. Adams1, S. Roberts1, R. Ashby1, Z. Mughal2. 1University of Manchester; 2Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s Hospitals NHS Trust

Introduction: A bone’s strength is determined by its size, shape, and amount of mass contained within the periosteal envelope. Therefore, to understand how bones adapt to high intensity exercise, measurements other than bone mineral density should be made; baseline peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) data from an ongoing trial have been analysed to investigate these adaptations. We hypothesise that compared with sedentary controls (n 42), gymnasts (n 44) will have larger bones with thicker cortices and therefore greater stress–strain indices (SSI, related to bone bending strength) in the radius (R) and tibia (T). Muscle cross sectional area (CSA) muscle force will also be greater in the gymnasts.

Method: Bone and muscle measurements were measured at 50% R and 65% T using pQCT (XCT-2000, Stratec, Germany); loop analysis was used to measure bone mineral content (BMC), cortical thickness, SSI, and periosteal and endosteal circumferences.

Results: Natural logs of bone and muscle variables were taken. Results are given as percent mean difference (ratio controls: gymnasts). After adjustment for sex and height gymnasts had higher cortical bone area (R:13% mean difference, p 0.04; T:7% mean difference, p 0.01), mineral content (R:14% mean difference, p 0.04; T: 7% mean difference, p 0.03), and thicker cortices (R:17% mean difference, p 0.02, T:8% mean difference, p 0.02) in both the R and T than controls. Consequently their SSI was higher in both bones (R:14% mean difference, p 0.004, T:7% mean difference, p 0.04). Compared with controls, the gymnasts also had greater muscle CSA (R:17% mean difference, p<0.001, T:6% mean difference, p 0.03) and grip strength (11% mean difference, p 0.03).

Conclusions: The bones …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.