Anthropometric profile of female handball players is related to bone mineral density

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of a wide range of anthropometric parameters with BMD in normal-weight women: handball players and healthy untrained students. Thirteen former female handball players, (age 21.2±0.9 years, body mass 64.2±6.1 kg, training experience 6.7±2.4 years) and 51 randomly selected untrained students (age 20.6±1.2 years, body mass 58.1±6.8 kg), were examined. The anthropometric measurements included 16 variables. BMD was measured on the radius of the non-dominant hand at distal and proximal points with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), using a Norland pDEXA densitometer. Relationships between BMD and anthropometric variables were assessed in 64 normal-weight women (BMI≥18.5 and ≤ 24.99 kg/m2), by calculating Pearson’s linear correlation coefficient. We found a significant positive relationship between bone mass characteristics and biacromial breadth (0.30-0.53), calf (0.28-0.47) and arm (0.27-0.42) girth corrected, and lean body mass (LBM) (kg) (0.38-0.61) and (%) (0,27) in the group of normal-weight women. The student groups were significantly different (analysis of variance with Scheffé post hoc test, p<0.001) in BMD, bone mineral content (BMC) and Z-score at both measured points. The former handball players were also characterized by higher body mass and LBM (kg), as well as corrected body girths and biacromial breadth (p<0.001), compared to untrained students. The groups did not differ significantly in body height or total fat. The morphological profile of the female handball players is conducive to BMD. Skeletal characteristics and muscle tissue had a significant beneficial effect on bone mineral characteristics in young women with normal weight.

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