Assessment of bone mineral density in young female handball players

Abstract Optimizing bone mass gain during childhood and adolescence may help prevent bone diseases in advanced ages. The aim of this study was to verify the bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) in female adolescent’s handball players. This is a cross-sectional study where 68 female adolescents (12–17 years) were allocated into two groups: handball players (n = 29) (HG) and control group (n = 39) (CG). BMC and BMD from total body (TB), total body less head (TBLH), lumbar spine (L1–L4), femoral neck (FN), Ward’s triangle (WT) and respectively Z-scores were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Sexual maturity, menarche, PHV, time of sun exposure, physical activity level and Calcium and vitamin D intake were assessed. The HG showed significantly higher BMC, BMD as well Z-scores values (p≤0.05) of total body, TBLH, femoral neck, hip and lumbar spine than the CG. When the values were adjusted for lean soft tissue (LST) the HG showed significantly higher BMC of femoral neck (p≤0.05), as well as BMD of TBLH and femoral neck (p≤0.05) and Z-score values all bone sites except hip, than the CG. We conclude that handball players have significantly higher bone mass values compared to group of girls of the same age.