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Mil Med. 1999 Sep;164(9):630-5.

The female athlete triad: prevalence in military women.

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Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA, USA.


The objective of this study was to define the prevalence of the female athlete triad, i.e., the simultaneous occurrence of disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis, in military women. A total of 423 active duty female soldiers participated in a three-part prospective, cross-sectional study. Part 1 entailed completing the Eating Disorder Inventory and a clinical interview with those women "at risk" for an eating disorder. Part 2 consisted of a clinical evaluation and laboratory studies of any woman with menstrual irregularities. Part 3 evaluated the bone mineral density of all women meeting the inclusion criteria for parts 1 and 2 using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Of the 423 active duty women who participated in the study, no subject exhibited the full female athlete triad. Thirty-three women (8%) had an eating disorder and 109 women (26%) were at risk for an eating disorder. Our results suggest that the female athlete triad is not a clinically significant problem for the Army.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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