This study investigated metabolic and nutritional factors in association with athletic menstrual dysfunction (AMD). Three groups of women were studied: amenorrheic runners (amenorrheic), eumenorrheic runners (eumenorrheic), and eumenorrheic sedentary controls (sedentary). Amenorrheic and eumenorrheic were similar in age, weight, percent body fat by hydro-densitometry, training pace and mileage, best 10 km race time, years running, and maximal oxygen consumption. When adjusted for body weight or for fat-free mass by analysis of covariance, RMR was significantly lower in amenorrheic than in eumenorrheic and sedentary. The daily caloric intakes of the groups did not differ significantly, but the amenorrheic scored significantly higher than the eumenorrheic and sedentary on a scale of aberrant eating patterns. Amenorrheic high mileage runners seem to have a less adequate diet than eumenorrheic runners but appear to maintain energy balance and stable weight through a reduction in RMR.
(C)1991The American College of Sports Medicine