ISSN: 1899-1955
Human Movement
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2/2021
vol. 22
 
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abstract:
Original paper

The risk for the female athlete triad in Brazilian athletes

Uyara Pereira De Maria
1
,
Claudia Ridel Juzwiak
1

1.
Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hum Mov. 2021;22(2):53–59
Online publish date: 2020/11/15
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Purpose
The female athlete triad (triad) is a medical condition observed in athletes and physically active females. Its components are low energy availability, with or without an eating disorder, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. The aims of this study were to identify the triad risk in Brazilian athletes and to characterize the prevalence of symptoms associated with the triad risk.

Methods
CrossFit, endurance, aesthetic, combat, and team sports female athletes aged 18–39 years, training 5 hours/week and regularly competing answered the Brazilian version of the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q).

Results
Triad risk, corresponding to a LEAF-Q score 8, was identified in 34% of the participants. Combat athletes presented the highest mean LEAF-Q score [10.6 (3.0); p < 0.05] and injury score [4.8 (1.6); p < 0.05]. Overall, 48 athletes reported an injury due to training overload in the previous year; this type of injury was associated with the triad risk (p < 0.05). A LEAF-Q score 8 was related to gastrointestinal (p < 0.05) and menstrual dysfunctions (p < 0.001). A high prevalence (46.4%) of self-reported menstrual dysfunction was observed. A higher percentage (50%) of weight-sensitive sports athletes than of team sports athletes presented LEAF-Q score 8.

Conclusions
Triad risk was observed in Brazilian athletes competing in numerous sports; however, weight-sensitive sports athletes, especially combat athletes, are more vulnerable to the triad risk. LEAF-Q is a reliable tool to identify athletes at risk of developing the triad and symptoms related to low energy availability

keywords:

nutrition, health, nutritional and metabolic diseases

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