PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to 1) report the percentage of athletes that exhibit each condition of the male athlete triad, 2) determine if differences between sports exist for each condition, and 3) assess correlations and predicting factors between energy availability, reproductive hormones, and bone mineral density. METHODS: Males participating in NCAA sports (cross country, soccer, basketball, wrestling, track, golf, and baseball) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville were recruited to participate in the study. Following 12 hours abstinence from food intake and exercise, an early (visit 1) and late season (visit 2) testing visit was conducted. Each visit included the following assessments: a resting metabolic rate test; blood collection for assessment of total testosterone, estrogen, luteinizing hormone, sex hormone binding globulin (utilized to obtain calculated free testosterone), insulin, and leptin; a Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry scan to assess lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total bone mineral density; a 24-hour food recall followed by two unannounced 24-hour recalls via phone within a week from testing day; and a 7-day assessment of activity energy expenditure with an Actigraph accelerometer. RESULTS: At visit 1, 32% of athletes had at least one of the MAT conditions, whereas 27% of athletes had at least one condition at visit 2. In addition, 0%, 18%, and 28% of athletes had low bone mineral density, low energy availability, and low total testosterone at visit 1, respectively. At visit 2, 0%, 27%, and 13% of athletes had low bone mineral density, low energy availability, and low total testosterone. Energy availability negatively correlated with lumbar spine z-score at visit 2, with no other bone related correlations. Compared to individual sports, cross country and golf presented the lowest bone mineral density z-scores at total, lumbar spine, and femoral neck regions. Total Testosterone and calculated free testosterone were not correlated with energy availability at visit 1 or visit 2. Compared to individual sports, wrestling had the lowest total testosterone and calculated free testosterone at both visits. Conversely, sex hormone binding globulin was positively correlated with energy availability at visit 1, however, it did not reach statistical significance at visit 2. Sex hormone binding globulin was also negatively correlated at both visits with total, lumbar spine, and femoral neck bone mineral density z-scores. Wrestling had a significant decrease in sex hormone binding globulin from visit 1 to visit 2, while their total testosterone and calculated free testosterone significantly increased. CONCLUSION: Despite that investigations on the athlete triad have largely been focused on females, our results indicate that male collegiate athletes also exhibit and might develop conditions of the athlete triad. In addition, these findings may suggest that athletes in some sports may be at higher risk for certain conditions of the MAT than others. Specifically, our results indicate that cross country runners and golfers exhibit the lowest bone mineral density while wrestlers exhibit lowest the total testosterone and calculated free testosterone. The general lack of association between energy availability with bone mineral density z-scores at all sites, along with lack of association with total testosterone at both visits, which are the two main conditions of the MAT, supports the idea that the use of energy availability alone is not enough to successfully screen for the MAT, as there is high variability among athletes and sports. Athletes and coaches should monitor the progress of their season and engage in continuous body composition assessments and blood analyses to identify markers of physiological changes pertaining to the MAT. Specifically, while increased awareness and screening for the MAT is warranted, sex hormone binding globulin might have the potential to serve as a reliable blood marker to identify physiological challenges pertaining to the MAT and could aid in developing a rigorous screening for the MAT.
|Commitee:||Smith, Bryan, Fernandez del Valle, Maria, Webb, Benjamin|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 81/12(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Kinesiology, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Female Athlete Triad, Low BMD, Low energy availability, Low testosterone, Male Athlete Triad, MAT|
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