Impact of artistic gymnastics on bone formation marker, density and geometry in female adolescents: ABCD-growth study

Isabella Neto Exupério, Ricardo Ribeiro Agostinete, André Oliveira Werneck, Santiago Maillane-Vanegas, Rafael Luiz-de-Marco, Eduardo D. L. Mesquita, Han C. G. Kemper, R. mulo Araújo Fernandes

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To compare bone density accrual and markers of bone geometry and formation between female adolescents engaged and not engaged in artistic gymnastics (AGs). Methods: This was a 12-month longitudinal study involving 20 female adolescents, including 10 controls and 10 gymnasts (AGs) aged 11 to 16 years. At baseline, the gymnasts had a minimum of 12 months of practice, and the controls reported no participation in any organized sport. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured in the lower limbs, upper limbs, spine, and whole body. In addition, BMD and geometrical properties of the femur were assessed. As a bone formation marker, osteocalcin level was measured. Results: Femoral aspects were increased in the gymnasts by 19% (P= 0.009), 14% (P= 0.047), and 10% (P= 0.046) in the Ward’s triangle, trochanter, and the overall bone, respectively, than in the control girls. Geometrical parameters, bone accrual, and osteocalcin levels were similar in both groups. The weekly training load explained 30.8% of all bone gains on the lower limbs and affected the density on parts of the femur. Conclusions: The gymnasts, after a 12-month follow-up, demonstrated a higher BMD in the Ward’s triangle and whole femur than the controls, as well as an improvement in femur density. These changes were mainly due to the weekly training load. Lastly, the gymnasts had significant bone accrual (after 12 months) in the upper limbs, lower limbs, and whole body.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Bone and bones
  • Growth
  • Gymnastics
  • Sports

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