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Short-termed changes in quantitative ultrasound estimated bone density among young men in an 18-weeks follow-up during their basic training for the Swiss Armed Forces


Strässle, Michael; Grossmann, Jonas; Eppenberger, Patrick; Faas, Alexander; Jerkovic, Ivanka; Floris, Joel; Öhrström, Lena; Akgül, Gülfirde; Aldakak, Lafi; Rühli, Frank; Bender, Nicole; Staub, Kaspar (2023). Short-termed changes in quantitative ultrasound estimated bone density among young men in an 18-weeks follow-up during their basic training for the Swiss Armed Forces. PeerJ, 11:e15205.

Abstract

Background
Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS) methods have been widely used to assess estimated bone density. This study aimed to assess changes in estimated bone density in association with changes in body composition, physical activity, and anthropometry.


Methods
We examined changes in anthropometry, body composition, and physical activity associated with changes in estimated bone mineral density (measured using quantitative ultrasound with a heel ultrasound device indicating broadband ultrasound attenuation BUA and speed of sound SOS) in a follow-up sample of n = 73 young men at the beginning and again 18 weeks later at the end of basic military training.


Results
At the end of the basic training, the subjects were on average significantly heavier (+1.0%), slightly taller (+0.5%) and had a higher fat mass (+6.6%) and grip strength (+8.6%). A significant decrease in mean physical activity (−49.5%) and mean estimated bone density calculated with BUA (−7.5%) was observed in the paired t-test. The results of the multivariable linear regressions (backward selection) show that changes in skeletal muscle mass (delta = 2nd measurement minus 1st measurement) have negative and body weight (delta) have positive association with the speed of sound SOS (delta), while fat mass (delta) and physical activity (delta) had the strongest negative associations with estimated bone mineral density (delta). In particular, we found a negative association between fat mass (delta) and estimated bone mineral density (delta, estimated with BUA).


Conclusion
Our study suggests that estimated bone density from the calcaneus can change within a few months even in young and mostly healthy individuals, depending upon physical activity levels and other co-factors. Further studies including other troop types as control groups as well as on women should follow in order to investigate this public health relevant topic in more depth. To what extent the estimated bone density measurement with quantitative ultrasound is clinically relevant needs to be investigated in further studies.

Abstract

Background
Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS) methods have been widely used to assess estimated bone density. This study aimed to assess changes in estimated bone density in association with changes in body composition, physical activity, and anthropometry.


Methods
We examined changes in anthropometry, body composition, and physical activity associated with changes in estimated bone mineral density (measured using quantitative ultrasound with a heel ultrasound device indicating broadband ultrasound attenuation BUA and speed of sound SOS) in a follow-up sample of n = 73 young men at the beginning and again 18 weeks later at the end of basic military training.


Results
At the end of the basic training, the subjects were on average significantly heavier (+1.0%), slightly taller (+0.5%) and had a higher fat mass (+6.6%) and grip strength (+8.6%). A significant decrease in mean physical activity (−49.5%) and mean estimated bone density calculated with BUA (−7.5%) was observed in the paired t-test. The results of the multivariable linear regressions (backward selection) show that changes in skeletal muscle mass (delta = 2nd measurement minus 1st measurement) have negative and body weight (delta) have positive association with the speed of sound SOS (delta), while fat mass (delta) and physical activity (delta) had the strongest negative associations with estimated bone mineral density (delta). In particular, we found a negative association between fat mass (delta) and estimated bone mineral density (delta, estimated with BUA).


Conclusion
Our study suggests that estimated bone density from the calcaneus can change within a few months even in young and mostly healthy individuals, depending upon physical activity levels and other co-factors. Further studies including other troop types as control groups as well as on women should follow in order to investigate this public health relevant topic in more depth. To what extent the estimated bone density measurement with quantitative ultrasound is clinically relevant needs to be investigated in further studies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Functional Genomics Center Zurich
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Neuroscience
Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Medicine, General Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:6 April 2023
Deposited On:03 May 2023 06:24
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:PeerJ, Ltd.
ISSN:2167-8359
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.15205
PubMed ID:37041974
Other Identification Number:PMCID: PMC10083003
Project Information:
  • : FunderMäxi Foundation Zürich
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)