Seasonal change in bone, muscle and fat in professional rugby league players and its relationship to injury: A cohort study

Erin C. Georgeson, Benjamin K. Weeks, Chris McLellan, Belinda R. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the anthropometric characteristics of an Australian National Rugby League team and identify the relationship to type and incidence of injuries sustained during a professional season. It was hypothesised that body composition would not change discernibly across a season and that injury would be negatively related to preseason bone and muscle mass. Design: A repeated measure, prospective, observational, cohort study. Setting: Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia. Participants: 37 professional male Australian National Rugby League players, 24.3 (3.8) years of age were recruited for preseason 1 testing, of whom 25 were retested preseason 2. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Primary outcome measures included biometrics; body composition (bone, muscle and fat mass; dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; XR800, Norland Medical Systems, Inc); bone geometry and strength (peripheral quantitative CT; XCT 3000, Stratec); calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA; QUS-2, Quidel); diet and physical activity history. Secondary outcome measures included player injuries across a single playing season. Results: Lean mass decreased progressively throughout the season ( pre=81.45(7.76) kg; post=79.89(6.72) kg; p≤0.05), while whole body (WB) bone mineral density (BMD) increased until midseason ( pre=1.235(0.087) g/cm2; mid=1.296(0.093) g/cm2; p≤0.001) then decreased thereafter (post=1.256 (0.100); p≤0.001). Start-of-season WB BMD, fat and lean mass, weight and tibial mass measured at the 38% site predicted bone injury incidence, but no other relationship was observed between body composition and injury. Conclusions: Significant anthropometric changes were observed in players across a professional rugby league season, including an overall loss of muscle and an initial increase, followed by a decrease in bone mass. Strong relationships between anthropometry and incidence of injury were not observed. Long-term tracking of large rugby league cohorts is indicated to obtain more injury data in order to examine anthropometric relationships with greater statistical power.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001400
JournalBMJ Open
Volume2
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Football
Cohort Studies
Fats
Bone and Bones
Muscles
Wounds and Injuries
Body Composition
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Bone Density
Incidence
Ghana
Anthropometry
Observational Studies
Adipose Tissue
X-Rays
Diet
Weights and Measures

Cite this

Georgeson, Erin C. ; Weeks, Benjamin K. ; McLellan, Chris ; Beck, Belinda R. / Seasonal change in bone, muscle and fat in professional rugby league players and its relationship to injury : A cohort study. In: BMJ Open. 2012 ; Vol. 2, No. 6.
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title = "Seasonal change in bone, muscle and fat in professional rugby league players and its relationship to injury: A cohort study",
abstract = "Objectives: To examine the anthropometric characteristics of an Australian National Rugby League team and identify the relationship to type and incidence of injuries sustained during a professional season. It was hypothesised that body composition would not change discernibly across a season and that injury would be negatively related to preseason bone and muscle mass. Design: A repeated measure, prospective, observational, cohort study. Setting: Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia. Participants: 37 professional male Australian National Rugby League players, 24.3 (3.8) years of age were recruited for preseason 1 testing, of whom 25 were retested preseason 2. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Primary outcome measures included biometrics; body composition (bone, muscle and fat mass; dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; XR800, Norland Medical Systems, Inc); bone geometry and strength (peripheral quantitative CT; XCT 3000, Stratec); calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA; QUS-2, Quidel); diet and physical activity history. Secondary outcome measures included player injuries across a single playing season. Results: Lean mass decreased progressively throughout the season ( pre=81.45(7.76) kg; post=79.89(6.72) kg; p≤0.05), while whole body (WB) bone mineral density (BMD) increased until midseason ( pre=1.235(0.087) g/cm2; mid=1.296(0.093) g/cm2; p≤0.001) then decreased thereafter (post=1.256 (0.100); p≤0.001). Start-of-season WB BMD, fat and lean mass, weight and tibial mass measured at the 38{\%} site predicted bone injury incidence, but no other relationship was observed between body composition and injury. Conclusions: Significant anthropometric changes were observed in players across a professional rugby league season, including an overall loss of muscle and an initial increase, followed by a decrease in bone mass. Strong relationships between anthropometry and incidence of injury were not observed. Long-term tracking of large rugby league cohorts is indicated to obtain more injury data in order to examine anthropometric relationships with greater statistical power.",
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Seasonal change in bone, muscle and fat in professional rugby league players and its relationship to injury : A cohort study. / Georgeson, Erin C.; Weeks, Benjamin K.; McLellan, Chris; Beck, Belinda R.

In: BMJ Open, Vol. 2, No. 6, e001400, 2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Seasonal change in bone, muscle and fat in professional rugby league players and its relationship to injury

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AB - Objectives: To examine the anthropometric characteristics of an Australian National Rugby League team and identify the relationship to type and incidence of injuries sustained during a professional season. It was hypothesised that body composition would not change discernibly across a season and that injury would be negatively related to preseason bone and muscle mass. Design: A repeated measure, prospective, observational, cohort study. Setting: Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia. Participants: 37 professional male Australian National Rugby League players, 24.3 (3.8) years of age were recruited for preseason 1 testing, of whom 25 were retested preseason 2. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Primary outcome measures included biometrics; body composition (bone, muscle and fat mass; dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; XR800, Norland Medical Systems, Inc); bone geometry and strength (peripheral quantitative CT; XCT 3000, Stratec); calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA; QUS-2, Quidel); diet and physical activity history. Secondary outcome measures included player injuries across a single playing season. Results: Lean mass decreased progressively throughout the season ( pre=81.45(7.76) kg; post=79.89(6.72) kg; p≤0.05), while whole body (WB) bone mineral density (BMD) increased until midseason ( pre=1.235(0.087) g/cm2; mid=1.296(0.093) g/cm2; p≤0.001) then decreased thereafter (post=1.256 (0.100); p≤0.001). Start-of-season WB BMD, fat and lean mass, weight and tibial mass measured at the 38% site predicted bone injury incidence, but no other relationship was observed between body composition and injury. Conclusions: Significant anthropometric changes were observed in players across a professional rugby league season, including an overall loss of muscle and an initial increase, followed by a decrease in bone mass. Strong relationships between anthropometry and incidence of injury were not observed. Long-term tracking of large rugby league cohorts is indicated to obtain more injury data in order to examine anthropometric relationships with greater statistical power.

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