Effect of retirement from women's gymnastics on bone mineral density, menstrual patterns, dietary intake, body composition, body image, and eating attitudes
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The purpose of this study was to examine gymnastics on bone mineral density (BMD), menstrual function, diet, body composition, body image, and eating attitudes after retirement from the sport comparing gymnasts with a control group. Bone mineral density was determined at lumbar (L2-L4), femoral neck (neck), Ward's area (Ward's), greater trochanter, and total body sites using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (Lunar, DPX). Initially, gymnasts had significantly greater neck, Ward's, and greater trochanter BMD than controls (n <. 05). Current data show gymnasts have significantly greater neck and Ward's BMD than controls (p <.05). Overall, significant declines in L2-L4, neck, Ward's, and greater trochanter BMD were found for gymnasts and significant declines for neck were found for controls (R <.05). Ex-gymnasts had significantly lower leg fat tissue than controls (n = .014). No significant differences were found for any nutritional variable or exercise. It was concluded gymnasts continue to have greater BMD than controls despite decreased exercise.