Identifying the Warning Signs of Bone Stress Injuries in Japanese Female Athletes Hope for Effective Prevention of Stress Fractures
February 15, 2019
Keio University School of Medicine
A group of researchers at Keio University School of Medicine, led by Project Associate Professor Takeshi Miyamoto, have attempted to identify biomarkers that may be able to predict future stress fractures in female athletes. The team evaluated 56 female athletes from Keio University, investigating the relationship between past stress fractures and dysmenorrhea, reduced food intake, and body weight loss, all of which are considered to be associated with stress injuries.
13 of those athletes (23.2%) answered that they had a history of stress fracture and more than half had experienced reduced food intake, dysmenorrhea, or shin splints. Among these, dysmenorrhea was significantly associated with a history of stress fractures, the risk of stress injury by almost 8 times. In addition, the risk of stress injury was significantly higher in athletes who had a previous history of stress fracture.
In serum and urine, creatine kinase (CK) and lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH) levels are generally known to increase following exercise. When we subdivided subjects into stress fracture and non-fracture groups, we found that levels of CK and LDH were significantly higher in the fracture group, while osteocalcin (OC) and uncarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC), which are bone forming parameters, significantly decreased. This data indicates that increased serum CK and LDH and decreased serum OC and ucOC are useful as biomarkers of stress injuries.
This result is useful for the prevention of stress fractures in Japanese female athletes and is expected to also be useful in informing coaches about an individual’s risk in order to prevent future stress fractures.
The results of this research were published in the international scientific journal Scientific Reports on December 21, 2018.
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