C.M. Skiles, J. Bailey, K. Brown, A.F. Brown

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Research has identified that endurance runners are at an increased risk for relative energy deficiency in sports (REDS). Testosterone (T) deficiency and low bone mineral density (BMD) are common symptoms among those experiencing REDS. However, a lack of research exists on the prevalence of T deficiency and low BMD among a wider variety of male athletes. PURPOSE: To assess the prevalence and associations of T deficiency and BMD in male collegiate athletes. METHODS: Male collegiate cross-country (CC) runners, track and field (TF) sprinters/jumpers, and club rugby (R) athletes, completed one visit to the Human Performance Lab at the end of their sports off-season. Participants arrived fasted (8 hours), abstained from exercise (12 hours), and arrived within 60 minutes of waking. Testing included collection of a saliva sample (Salimetrics SalivaBio Oral Swab), height and weight using a digital scale and stadiometer (APEX Deteco, Webb City, MO), a 24-hour dietary food recall (ASA-24), and 3 dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scans (whole-body, lumbar spine (LS), left femoral neck (LFN); Horizon Hologic, Marlborough, MA). Statistical analyses were completed using SPSS Statistics v. 24 and data were reported as mean±SD. Significance was accepted at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: Saliva samples are currently being analyzed for T levels at Salimetrics. CC had a higher caloric intake than R but not TF (CC: 3,813±1,239 kcal; R: 2,402±589 kcal; TF: 3,117±647 kcal, p=0.005, p=0.278 respectively). CC had lower LS BMD when compared to R but not TF (CC: 0.99±0.07 g/cm2; R: 1.14±0.07 g/cm2; TF: 1.12±0.16 g/cm2, p=0.023, p=0.059 respectively). Additionally, CC had lower LFN BMD than R but not TF (CC: 0.99±0.08 g/cm2; R: 1.12±0.14 g/cm2; TF: 1.11±0.06 g/cm2, p=0.046, p=0.069 respectively). One of eight CC athletes (12.5%) had low BMD (z-score < -1.0) in LFN, and two of eight CC athletes (25%) had low BMD in LS. Meanwhile, none of the R or TF athletes had low BMD in LS or LFN. CONCLUSION: Our findings support previous research findings demonstrating low BMD in endurance runners. Even though CC had a higher caloric intake, CC had a higher prevalence of low BMD in LS and LFN compared to R and TF indicating that caloric intake may not be the only contributing factor toward bone health in athletes. BMD associations with T levels will be determined upon analysis completion.

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