Bone parameters of elite athletes with oligomenorrhea and prevalence seeking medical attention: a cross-sectional study

Yuka Tsukahara*, Suguru Torii, Fumihiro Yamasawa, Jun Iwamoto, Takanobu Otsuka, Hideyuki Goto, Torao Kusakabe, Hideo Matsumoto, Takao Akama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Since the definition of secondary amenorrhea is cessation of regular menses for more than 3 months, it is likely that athletes with irregular menstrual cycles, including oligomenorrhea, do not consider the condition as serious. However, the consequences of untreated oligomenorrhea have not been investigated in elite track and field athletes. Materials and methods: The cohort consisted of 91 elite-level track and field athletes. Body compositions, including bone parameters and bone turnover markers (BTMs), were measured. Results: Among the 91 participants, 52 were eumenorrheic and 33 were oligomenorrheic. The eumenorrheic athletes had significantly higher bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) of the lumbar spine, lower extremities, and whole body than had the oligomenorrheic athletes (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences in BTMs between the two groups, but oligomenorrheic athletes had significantly lower percent body fat. Conclusion: More than 40% of the elite-level female track and field athletes in this study reported menstrual disorders with oligomenorrhea as the most common. However, none sought medical attention. As compared to the eumenorrheic athletes, the oligomenorrheic athletes had lower BMC and BMD. Hence, if an athlete is oligomenorrheic, bone parameter measurements are considerably important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1018
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov


  • Bone mineral content
  • Bone mineral density
  • Oligomenorrhea
  • Track and field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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