Reproductive hormones and bone mineral density in women runners

D. B. Snead, A. Weltman, J. Y. Weltman, W. S. Evans, J. D. Veldhuis, M. M. Varma, C. D. Teates, E. A. Dowling, A. D. Rogol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We examined the relationships among reproductive hormone concentrations and bone mineral density (BMD) in 43 women runners classified as eumenorrheic (n = 24), oligomenorrheic (n = 8), or amenorrheic (n = 11). Results were compared with a eumenorrheic nonrunner control group (n = 11). Serum 17β- estradiol, progesterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations were determined in daily blood samples for 21 days, and integrated concentrations (areas under the curve) were calculated. BMD was assessed at the lumbar spine and proximal femur by dual-photon absorptiometry. As expected, 17β-estradiol, progesterone, and lumbar spine BMD were higher in the control and eumenorrheic runner groups than in the oligomenorrheic and amenorrheic runner groups (P < 0.05). Progesterone concentration was significantly correlated with lumbar spine BMD in the eumenorrheic runners (r = 0.61). None of the steroid hormones was significantly related to BMD in the oligomenorrheic/amenorrheic group. The present data suggest that circulating levels of gonadal steroid hormones affect axial BMD in eumenorrheic runners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2149-2156
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992


  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate
  • estradiol
  • exercise
  • exertion
  • menstrual cycle
  • progesterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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