HOCH, A. Z., R. L. DEMPSEY, G. F. CARRERA, C. R. WILSON, E. H. CHEN, V. M. BARNABEI, P. R. SANDFORD, T. A. RYAN, and D. D. GUTTERMAN. Is There an Association between Athletic Amenorrhea and Endothelial Cell Dysfunction? Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 377–383, 2003.
Purpose: To test the hypothesis that young females with athletic amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea show signs of early cardiovascular disease manifested by decreased endothelium-dependent dilation of the brachial artery.
Methods: Ten women with athletic amenorrhea (mean ± SE, age 21.9 ± 1.2 yr), 11 with oligomenorrhea (age 20.8 ± 1.1 yr), and 11 age-matched controls (age 20.2 ± 1.1 yr) were studied. Study subjects were amenorrheic an average of 2.3 (range 0.6–5) yr and oligomenorrheic an average of 6.2 yr. All ran a minimum of 25 miles·wk−1. They were nonpregnant and free of metabolic disease. Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (endothelium-dependent) was measured with a noninvasive ultrasound technique in each group.
Results: Endothelium-dependent brachial artery dilation was reduced in the amenorrheic group (1.08 ± 0.91%) compared with oligomenorrheic (6.44 ± 1.3%;P < 0.05) and eumenorrheic (6.38 ± 1.4%;P < 0.05) groups.
Conclusion: Athletic amenorrhea is associated with reduced endothelium-dependent dilation of the brachial artery. This may predispose to accelerated development of cardiovascular disease.
1Sports Medicine Center, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery/Cardiovascular Center;
2Family & Community Medicine;
5Patrick & Margaret McMahon Obstetrics & Gynecology;
6Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; and
7Cardiovascular Center, Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; and
8Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Milwaukee, WI
Address for correspondence: Anne Zeni Hoch, D.O., Sports Medicine Center, Women’s Sports Medicine Program, Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery/Cardiovascular Center, 9200 West Wisconsin Avenue, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226; E-mail: email@example.com.
Submitted for publication March 2002.
Accepted for publication November 2002.