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Clinical Cases in mineral and bone metabolism

Effects of 3 years of ballet training on bone health, body composition, and physical performance in elite adolescent dancers

Original Article, 22 - 26
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Abstract
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Objectives. We aimed to assess the impact of ballet training on multiple parameters of musculoskeletal development in a group of elite adolescent dancers with respect to body and bone composition, mobility and strength, and physical performance over a period of three years.
Design. Subgroup analysis of a prospective cohort study consisting of elite adolescent ballet dancers ofthe Royal ballet school of Antwerp, who had longitudinal follow-up data available during their first and third year of training.
Methods. Baseline and follow-up data were available for 10 dancers (mean age at baseline 12.40 ± 0.38) out of 38 participants in the cohort study. The total body (TB) and upper and lower limb regions bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) were assessed using dual X-ray absorptiometry. Physical performance were also assessed.
Results. Compared to baseline in the first year of training, lean mass, BMD total and BMD legs improved significantly over time (P=0.005). There was also a significant correlation between Δ-BMC left and Δ-power both plantar flexors (ρ=0.721; P=0.019) and Δ-BMC left and Δ-isometric both plantar flex (ρ=0.685; P=0.029).
Discussion. The causal association of changes in musculoskeletal development with ballet training cannot be ascertained because of the lack of a control group and the small size. Insights into the relationships between site-specific bone density and foot strength may guide future studies for a better understanding of the impact of dance training on bone and muscle development.

Vol. XVI (No. 1) 2019 January - April

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