Skip Navigation LinksHome > July 2015 - Volume 23 - Issue 7 > Female Athlete Triad: Past, Present, and Future
Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-14-00168
Review Article

Female Athlete Triad: Past, Present, and Future

Matzkin, Elizabeth MD; Curry, Emily J.; Whitlock, Kaitlyn PA-C

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Abstract

After the passage of Title IX in 1972, female sports participation skyrocketed. In 1992, the female athlete triad was first defined; diagnosis required the presence of an eating disorder, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. However, many athletes remained undiagnosed because they did not meet all three of these criteria. In 2007, the definition was modified to a spectrum disorder involving low energy availability (with or without disordered eating), menstrual dysfunction, and low bone mineral density. With the new definition, all three components need not be present for a diagnosis of female athlete triad. Studies using the 1992 definition of the disorder demonstrated a prevalence of 1% to 4% in athletes. However, in certain sports, many female athletes may meet at least one of these criteria. The actual prevalence of athletes who fall under the “umbrella” diagnosis of the female athlete triad remains unknown.

© 2015 by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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