Menstrual cycle abnormalities worsens bone health in athletes

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New York, July 2 (IANS) Women sports persons with menstrual cycle abnormalities may be at at greater risk of bone stress injuries and fractures, says a new study.

The researchers found that women with symptoms known as the “female athlete triad”, a spectrum of symptoms that include low energy availability, menstrual cycle abnormalities, and low bone mineral density, are at an increased risk of bone loss.

“Any combination of these conditions can lead to premature bone loss in females,” said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Elizabeth Matzkin from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, US.

Both athletes and nonathletes participating in any sports and exercise can develop symptoms of the female athlete triad. But the likelihood of female athletes sustaining a bone stress injury significantly increases as the number of symptoms they have increases, the findings showed.

The study authors also found that female athletes diagnosed with poor nutrition or low energy availability are two to four times more likely to sustain a sports-related injury.

Female athletes who self-reported menstrual cycle abnormalities had a nearly three times greater risk of a bone and joint injury, the findings showed.

“Proper nutrition and energy balance are key to staying healthy in athletes of all ages. But maximizing bone health when you are young is paramount to your bone health later in life,” Matzkin said.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).

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