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Spinal Cord. 2002 May;40(5):230-5.

Intensive exercise may preserve bone mass of the upper limbs in spinal cord injured males but does not retard demineralisation of the lower body.

Author information

1
The School of Physical Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study comparing a group of active spinal cord injured (SCI) males carefully matched for age, height, and weight with active able-bodied male controls.

OBJECTIVES:

To compare bone mass of the total body, upper and lower limbs, hip, and spine regions in active SCI and able-bodied individuals.

SETTING:

Outpatient study undertaken in two centres in New Zealand.

METHODS:

Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning was used to determine bone mass. Questionnaires were used to ascertain total time spent in weekly physical activity for each individual. The criterion for entry into the study was regular participation in physical activity of more than 60 min per week, over and above that required for rehabilitation.

RESULTS:

Seventeen SCI and their able-bodied controls met our required activity criterion. Bone mineral density (BMD) values of the total body and hip regions were significantly lower in the SCI group than in their controls (P=0.0001). Leg BMD and bone mineral content (BMC) were also significantly lower in the SCI group (P=0.0001). By contrast, lumbar spine BMD and arm BMD and BMC did not differ between the SCI and control groups. Arm BMD and BMC were greater (not significant) than the reference norms (LUNAR database) for both groups.

CONCLUSION:

Intensive exercise regimens may contribute to preservation of arm bone mass in SCI males, but does not prevent demineralisation in the lower body.

PMID:
11987005
DOI:
10.1038/sj.sc.3101286
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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