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ACSM: Ballerinas Vulnerable to Female Athlete Triad/Tetrad

Dancers are likely to have disordered eating patterns and menstrual dysfunction

MONDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Professional female ballerinas may have a high prevalence of the female athlete triad/tetrad associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, held from May 27 to 30 in Seattle.

Anne Z. Hoch, D.O., of Marquette University in Milwaukee, and colleagues studied 22 professional ballerinas from the Milwaukee Ballet Company.

The researchers found a high prevalence of disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction, and a history of primary amenorrhea (32 percent, 27 percent, and 18 percent, respectively) among the subjects. They also observed that nearly one-third (32 percent) of the women had low bone mineral density and that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) had abnormal brachial artery flow mediated dilation.

"Triad characteristics including endothelial dysfunction were common in this group," the authors conclude. "Eighteen percent had one component, 45 percent had two components, 18 percent had three components and five percent had all four components of the Tetrad."


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