CHARACTERIZATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MENARCHE AND BODY COMPOSITION IN ELITE COLLEGIATE GYMNASTS
Sam R. Moore, Hannah E. Cabre, Amanda N. Gordon, Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, FACSM. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.
BACKGROUND: Physical activity consisting of high mechanical stress has shown a positive relationship with bone mineral density (BMD) in female athletic populations. Menarche after the age of 12 can lead to lower fat mass and BMD into adulthood; the effect of delayed menarche on lean mass (LM) is unknown. The purpose of this study was to characterize and evaluate the relationship between age of menarche, BMD, and fat free mass index (FFMI), in Division I collegiate female gymnasts. METHODS:Twenty-two competitive Division I female gymnasts (Mean±Standard Deviation [SD]: Age: 19.1±1.2 yrs; Height: 161.5±6.3 cm; Weight: 61. 7±8.4kg; FFMI: 18.3±1.2 kg/m2) participated in a survey (North American Menopause Society Validated Questionnaire) to assess age of menarche and a whole body DXA scan (GE Lunar iDXA) to measure BMD and LM. BMD percentile was evaluated using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). FFMI was calculated from DXA-derived LM and bone mineral content (BMC), FFMI (kg/m^2) = LM (kg) + BMC (kg) / Height^2 (m^2). Bivariate correlations were used to analyze the trength of the relationship between menarche, BMD, FFMI, and BMD percentile. RESULTS: Age of menarche (15.4±1.5 yrs; range - 13 to 19 yrs) was negatively associated with BMD (r=-0.045; p=0.851) and BMD percentile (r=-0.435; p=0.055), although neither were significant. There was no significant relationship between FFMI and age of menarche (r=0.194 p=0.412). CONCLUSIONS: Despite a lack of statistical significance, possibly due to a small sample, negative relationships observed between age of menarche, BMD, and BMD percentile, indicate a need for further investigation. While female gymnasts may rank in higher percentiles for BMD when compared to general population norms (NHANES), the potential negative impact of late onset menarche on bone health requires further development of athlete specific BMD norms.
Moore, SR; Cabre, HE; Gordon, AN; and Smith-Ryan, FACSM, AE
"CHARACTERIZATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MENARCHE AND BODY COMPOSITION IN ELITE COLLEGIATE GYMNASTS,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 16:
1, Article 219.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol16/iss1/219