Vlachopoulos, Dimitris; Barker, Alan R.; Ubago-Guisado, Esther; Fatouros, Ioannis G.; Knapp, Karen M.; Williams, Craig A.; Gracia-Marco, Luis
Adolescence is a crucial period for bone development, and exercise can enhance bone acquisition during this period of life. However, it is not known how the different loading sports practiced can affect bone acquisition in adolescent male athletes. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to determine the 1-year longitudinal bone acquisition among adolescent males involved in osteogenic (football) and non-osteogenic (swimming and cycling) sports and to compare with active controls. A total of 116 adolescent males aged 12 to 14 years at baseline were followed for 1 year: 37 swimmers, 37 footballers, 28 cyclists, and 14 active controls. Bone mineral content (BMC) was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), cross-sectional area (CSA), cross-sectional moment of inertia (CSMI), and section modulus (Z) at the femoral neck was assessed using hip structural analysis (HSA), and bone texture of the lumbar spine was assessed using trabecular bone score (TBS). Serum N-terminal propeptide of procollagen type I (PINP), isomer of the Carboxi-terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen (CTX-I), total serum calcium, and 25 hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were analyzed. Footballers had significantly higher adjusted BMC at the lumbar spine (7.0%) and femoral neck (5.0%) compared with cyclists, and significantly greater BMC at the lumbar spine (6.9%) compared with swimmers. Footballers presented significantly greater TBS (4.3%) compared with swimmers, and greater CSMI (10.2%), CSA (7.1%), Z (8.9%) and TBS (4.2%) compared with cyclists. No differences were noted between cyclists and swimmers, both groups had similar bone acquisition compared with controls. PINP was significantly higher in footballers and controls compared with cyclists and swimmers (3.3% to 6.0%), and 25(OH)D was significantly higher in footballers and cyclists compared with swimmers and controls (9.9% to 13.1%). These findings suggest that bone acquisition is higher in adolescent male footballers compared with swimmers and cyclists at the femoral neck and lumbar spine sites of the skeleton. © 2017 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.