In this study, we evaluated the relationship between bone mineral density (BMD) and muscle strength in young athletes who had not yet experienced age-related bone loss. Radial BMD and grip strength were measured in 10 male college wrestlers, 16 female college basketball players, and 12 female college tennis players. Radial BMD was measured in the distal and middle radius by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Isometric grip strength was assessed with a hand-held dynamometer. The dominant forearm was examined in the amateur wrestlers and basketball players for grip strength and BMD. Both forearms were examined in the tennis players. A significant positive correlation was found between radial BMD and grip strength in the dominant forearm, and between radial BMD and body weight. Moreover, to eliminate a possible effect of body weight on radial BMD, we compared radial BMD with grip strength in both the dominant and nondominant arm of 12 college tennis players. Grip strength in the dominant forearm was significantly greater than in the nondominant forearm. The midradial BMD of the dominant forearm was also significantly higher than in the nondominant forearm. Based on these findings, we conclude that grip strength is one of the determinant factors of radial BMD in the dominant forearm of young college athletes.
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