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Elder Athletes Can Improve Bone Health With High-Impact Sports

November 14, 2009: 03:36 AM EST
Ultrasound scans of 560 senior male and female athletes who participated in high-impact sports at the 2005 National Senior Games found that even the oldest participants had better bone mineral density than people who participated in low-impact sports, according to a U.S. study. High-impact sports include basketball, road racing, track and field, triathlon and volleyball. The researchers noted that seniors with health problems like osteoarthritis might be prevented from trying such activities, but those who are relatively healthy can improve bone health and bone aging through high-impact sports. Ages of the athletes averaged 65.9 years, with the oldest being 93.
Daniel Leigey, BS, James Irrgang, PhD, et al., "Participation in High-Impact Sports Predicts Bone Mineral Density in Senior Olympic Athletes", Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, November 14, 2009, © The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
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