Br J Sports Med 39:497-502 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2004.013151
  • Original article

Response of bone metabolism related hormones to a single session of strenuous exercise in active elderly subjects

  1. L Maïmoun2,4,
  2. D Simar1,
  3. D Malatesta2,
  4. C Caillaud1,
  5. E Peruchon3,
  6. I Couret4,
  7. M Rossi4,
  8. D Mariano-Goulart4
  1. 1Laboratoire Sport Performance Santé UPRES EA 2991, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Montpellier, France
  2. 2Laboratoire de Physiologie des Interactions UPRES EA 701, CHU Arnaud de Villeneuve, Montpellier, France
  3. 3INSERM, Montpellier, France
  4. 4Service de Médecine Nucléaire, CHU Lapeyronie, Montpellier, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Laurent Maïmoun
 Centre Propara, Parc Euromedecine, 263 rue du Caducée, 34195 Montpellier, France;
  • Accepted 5 October 2004


Objective: To evaluate the effect of strenuous exercise on bone metabolism and related hormones in elderly subjects.

Methods: Twenty one active elderly subjects (11 men and 10 women; mean age 73.3 years) showing a mean theoretical Vo2max of 151.4% participated. Concentrations of plasma ionised calcium (iCa), serum intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and 1.25-dihydroxy-vitamin D3 (1.25(OH)2D3), as well as the bone biochemical markers type I collagen C-telopeptide for bone resorption and osteocalcin and bone alkaline phosphatase for bone formation, were analysed before and after a maximal incremental exercise test.

Results: At basal level, iPTH was positively correlated with age (r = 0.56, p<0.01) and negatively correlated with 25(OH)D (r = −0.50; p<0.01) and 1.25(OH)2D3 (r = −0.47; p<0.05). Moreover, 25(OH)D and 1.25(OH)2D3 levels were negatively correlated with age (r = −0.50, p<0.01 and r = −0.53, p<0.01, respectively). After exercise, iCa and 25(OH)D decreased (p<0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively) while iPTH increased (p<0.001). The levels of 1.25(OH)2D3, bone biochemical markers, haematocrit, and haemoglobin were unchanged. The variations in iCa and 25(OH)D were not related to age and/or sex. The iPTH variation was directly related to basal iPTH levels (p<0.01) and indirectly related to age.

Conclusions: In active elderly subjects, strenuous exercise disturbed calcium homeostasis and bone related hormones without immediate measurable effect on bone turnover. Although an increase in iPTH could have an anabolic action on bone tissue, our findings from our short term study did not allow us to conclude that such action occurred.


  • Competing interests: none declared