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The female athlete triad and cardiovascular dysfunction. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2007 Aug;18(3):385-400, vii-viii



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In the past 35 years, a significant increase has occurred in sports participation by women. An estimated 3 million girls and young women compete in American high school sports. Women who participate in sports and fitness programs are generally healthier and have higher self-esteem. However, an increase has also been seen in gender-specific injuries and medical problems. The female athlete triad is a syndrome of separate but interrelated conditions of disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. Athletic amenorrhea is known to have a hormonal profile similar to menopause characterized by decreased circulating estrogens. Menopause is known to be associated with osteoporosis and accelerated cardiovascular disease. Although enhanced risk for cardiovascular disease is theoretically possible, it has not been explored in the young athletic population. Premature cardiovascular disease first manifests as endothelial dysfunction, which can be examined noninvasively with ultrasound. This article discusses disordered eating, amenorrhea, osteoporosis, and the potential for heightened cardiovascular risk in young athletic women.

Author List

Hoch AZ, Lal S, Jurva JW, Gutterman DD


David D. Gutterman MD Sr Associate Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Anne Hoch DO Professor in the Orthopaedic Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Cardiovascular Diseases
Female Athlete Triad Syndrome