Prevalence of Risk Factors of the Female Athlete Triad among Young Elite Athletes of Pakistan.
Syed J, Jamil A, Namroz N, et al.
Background: Female athletes who are not vigilant about their food choices and choose extraneous physical activities may head towards negative health effects.
Purpose: The purpose was to determine the prevalence of risk factors that may lead to the Female Athlete Triad among young elite athletes in Pakistan.
Study Design & Methods: A cross sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in 2018 at Pakistan Sports Board to investigate the risk factors of The Female Athlete Triad among young elite athletes based in national training camps of major metropolitan cities. Trained and professional female elite athletes of age 18 – 25 years, able to comprehend questionnaire in English were included. Athletes completed the questionnaire including demographics, educational qualifications, Body Mass Index, sports participation, and playing hours. The Eating Aptitude Test-26 (EAT-26) and questionnaires on risks of amenorrhea and risks of low bone mineral density were completed. Individual prevalence of the risk factors of three components was assessed. The data were analyzed using SPSS-20 and descriptive statistics applied.
Results: A sample of 60 elite athletes, (23.57 + 2.37 years, BMI 21.97 <u">+1.90) who participated in various sports were included. EAT-26 results indicated that 50% of athletes were at risk of an eating disorder. Disordered Eating behaviors in need of referral were identified in 83.3%. Risks for amenorrhea were identified in 15%, and concerning low Bone Mineral Density, no risks were identified, except the intake of caffeinated beverages in 51.7%.
Conclusion: The prevalence of risk for disordered eating was found to be significant among female elite athletes of Pakistan, but risk of amenorrhea and low bone mineral density were not of major concern.
Level of evidence: 3b