Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the association of knee injuries with subsequent changes in body mass index and body composition during maturation in young females.
Methods A prospective longitudinal study design was employed to evaluate young females active in soccer or basketball (N=862). Participants who completed at least 1-year follow-up to provide consecutive annual measures of BMIZ and %fat were included in the study analysis to determine the effect of knee injuries on the trajectory of these obesity markers in youth.
Results Of the 71 reported knee injuries, 12 (17%) occurred in athletes at the prepubertal stage, 24 (34%) in athletes at the pubertal stage, and 35 (49%) in postpubertal athletes. Controlling for the effects of maturation, female athletes who reported knee injury demonstrated a greater yearly increase in BMIZ (LS means and 95% CI for the injured group=0.039 (−0.012 to 0.089), for the non-injured group=−0.019 (−0.066 to 0.029), and group difference=0.057 (0.005 to 0.11), p=0.03) and in %body fat (LS means and 95% CI for the injured group=1.05 (0.45 to 1.65), for the non-injured group=0.22 (−0.21 to 0.064), and group difference=0.83 (0.21 to 1.45), p=0.009), compared to those without knee injuries. This indicates that the athletes with knee injuries will increase their body mass index percentile by up to 5 units more than someone of the same age without an injury, and in body fat by up to 1.5%, compared to their non-injured peers.
Conclusions The present findings indicate that knee injury during the growing years may be associated with unfavourable changes in body composition.
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