American Journal of Epidemiology vol:158 issue:6 pages:525-533
This study examined whether participation in high-impact sports during adolescence and adulthood contributes to bone health in males aged 40 years. Data were analyzed on 154 Belgian men aged 13 years at study onset in 1969 and aged 40 years at the end of the 27-year follow-up. In a second analysis, subjects were divided into three groups according to their sports participation history: participation during adolescence and adulthood in high-impact sports (HH; n=18), participation during adolescence in high-impact sports and during adulthood in nonimpact sports or no sports (HN; n=15), and participation during adolescence and adulthood in nonimpact sports or no sports (NN; n=14). Body mass and impact loading during adulthood were significant predictors of total body bone mineral density (BMD) and lumbar spine BMD. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences for lumbar spine BMD between the HH (1.12 g/cm2) group and the HN (1.01 g/cm2) and NN (0.99 g/cm2) groups (F=5.07, p=0.01). Total body BMD was also higher in the HH group at age 40 years, but not significantly (F=3.17, p=0.0515). Covariance analyses for total body BMD and lumbar spine BMD, with body mass and time spent participating in sports as covariates, confirmed these results. Continued participation in impact sports is beneficial for the skeletal health of males aged 40 years.