Table 1

Prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia at the lumbar spine as measured by dual energy x ray absorptiometry in athletic populations considered at risk of the female athlete triad

ReferencePopulation studied (age as mean (SD))Number of subjects in the at risk populationPrevalence of either osteoporosis or osteopeniaMean T score for group (lumbar spine unless stated)
A T score between −1.0 and −2.5 represents osteopenia.
Lauder et al4Military recruits aged 27.5 (7.7)4230% osteoporosis, 1.4% osteopeniaNot given
Young et al33Elite ballet school students aged 17 (1.2), all had menstrual disturbance440% osteoporosis, 22% osteopenia−2.1 at the lumbar spine (osteopenia), +2.1 at the femoral neck (normal)
Rutherford34Amenorrhoeic triathletes and distance runners aged 29.5 (7.5)1513% osteoporosis, 40% osteopenia−1.5 (osteopenia)
Tomten et al35Runners with menstrual disturbance aged 27.6 (5.8)13Not given−1.2 (estimated from graph = mild osteopenia)
Drinkwater et al36Amenorrhoeic runners and rowers aged 24.9 (4.7)13Not given−1.6 (osteopenia)
Cann et al37Women with hypothalamic amenorrhoea (all but one were runners) aged 27.3 (6.1)11Not given−1.3 (mild osteopenia)
Nelson et al38Amenorrhoeic distance runners aged 25.2 (4.7)11Not given−0.97 (normal, borderline osteopenia)
Warren et al12Amenorrhoeic dancers aged 19 (3.4)22Not given−0.88 (normal)
Pettersson et al39Amenorrhoeic distance runners aged 21.8 (3.0)1010% osteoporosis, 50% osteopenia−1.4 (estimated from graph = mild osteopenia)
Micklesfield et al10Amenorrhoeic ultramarathon runners aged 35 (4.3).10Not given but probably a significant number with osteoporosis−2.1 (osteopenia)
Myburgh et al40Amenorrhoeic college athletes aged 29.3 (6.9) years9Not given−1.2 (mild osteopenia)