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Reduced Neuromuscular Performance in Amenorrheic Elite Endurance Athletes
Lund University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5617-0728
Univ Copenhagen, Denmark.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8249-1311
Lund University, Sweden.
Lund University, Sweden.
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2017 (English)In: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, ISSN 0195-9131, E-ISSN 1530-0315, Vol. 49, no 12, p. 2478-2485Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction Secondary functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (SFHA) is common among female athletes, especially in weight-sensitive sports. The aim of this study was to investigate the link between SFHA and neuromuscular performance in elite endurance athletes. Methods Sixteen eumenorrheic (EUM) and 14 SFHA athletes from national teams and competitive clubs participated. Methods included gynecological examination, body composition (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), resting metabolic rate and work efficiency, exercise capacity, knee muscular strength (KMS) and knee muscular endurance (KME), reaction time (RT), blood sampling performed on the third to fifth days of the menstrual cycle, and 7-d assessment of energy availability. Results SFHA athletes had lower estrogen (0.12 0.03 vs 0.17 +/- 0.09 nmolL(-1), P < 0.05), triiodothyronine (T-3) (1.4 +/- 0.2 vs 1.7 +/- 0.3 nmolL(-1), P < 0.01), and blood glucose (3.8 +/- 0.3 vs 4.4 +/- 0.3 mmolL(-1), P < 0.001) but higher cortisol levels (564 +/- 111 vs 400 +/- 140 nmolL(-1), P < 0.05) compared with EUM athletes. SFHA had a lower body weight (55.0 +/- 5.8 vs 60.6 +/- 7.1 kg, P < 0.05), but no difference in exercise capacity between groups was found (56.4 +/- 5.8 vs 54.0 +/- 6.3 mL O(2)min(-1)kg(-1)). RT was 7% longer, and KMS and KME were 11% and 20% lower compared with EUM athletes. RT was negatively associated with glucose (r = -0.40, P < 0.05), T-3 (r = -0.37, P < 0.05), and estrogen (r = -0.43, P < 0.05), but positively associated with cortisol (r = 0.38, P < 0.05). KMS and KME correlated with fat-free mass in the tested leg (FFMleg; r = 0.52, P < 0.001; r = 0.58, P < 0.001) but were negatively associated with cortisol (r = -0.42, P < 0.05; r = -0.59, P < 0.001). FFMleg explained the differences in KMS, while reproductive function and FFMleg independently explained the variability in KME. Conclusions We found lower neuromuscular performance among SFHA compared with EUM athletes linked to a lower FFMleg, glucose, estrogen, T-3, and elevated cortisol levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2017. Vol. 49, no 12, p. 2478-2485
Keywords [en]
amenorrhea, energy availability, fat-free mass, blood glucose, cortisol, T-3
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-81805DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001383ISI: 000416209900013PubMedID: 28723842OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-81805DiVA, id: diva2:1303757
Available from: 2019-04-10 Created: 2019-04-10 Last updated: 2019-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Melin, Anna K.

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