Background: During childhood and adolescence, bone mineral density (BMD) increases until to be reached the acquisition peak of bone mass to be reached in early adulthood. The aim of
the study was to compare the total and regional BMD (legs, arms, hip and spine) measurements among children, teenagers and young adults, who train in soccer and swimming disciplines
Methods: A total of 117 male volunteers were recruited being 38 soccer players (SP), and 33 swimmers (SW). The control group (CG) was composed by 46 sedentary individuals. The
subjects were divided according to the age in three groups: children 7 to 10 y (n=50), teenagers 11 to 17 y (n=41), and young adults 18 to 30 y (n=36). The body BMD and body composition were measured
using dual-energy absorptiometry (DXA). Total and regional BMD were measured and derived from the total-bodyscan (Lunar Prodigy Advance® - GE Healthcare, Madison, USA). One Way Anova for multiple
analyses within and between the studied groups was performed (SPSS 19.0, IBM, Chicago, USA).
Results: No differences were found in mean total BMD (g/cm2) values between SW, SP and CG. The significance level was set at P ≤ 0.05; it was difference between children and adults of
the same group. P = 0.371, P = 0.093 (between SP and SW for teenagers and adults, respectively). Regarding body site-specific area, the BMD means values showed for SP femur a higher BMD than SW and CG
in all age-groups; for L1-L4 the SP and SW groups showed BMD mean values higher than CG in children. However, the SP group presented BMD mean values higher than SW and CG in teenagers and young adults
(p = 0.01). With respect to femoral neck area, were not observed differences in children among the sport modalities and CG. While in the teenagers and young adults, were observed differences between
SP x SW and SP x CG (p = 0.01). Children, adolescents and young adults presented higher BMD for SP and SW than CG, independently of sports modality, in Radius site-specific area.
Conclusions: Our data showed that male SP and SW have similar total body BMD to healthy sedentary controls, regardless age and BMI. On the other hand, the athletes had higher
site-specific BMD measurements, especially at spine and forearm, in all age groups. Hip BMD was higher only in teenagers and young adults SP and SW, but not in children. These results highlight the
importance of changing the strength exercise in SW.