American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
For Immediate Release May 03, 2004

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS:  The health benefits of regular aerobic exercise have been widely publicized.  Regular exercise can decrease the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis (thinning of bones).  Running is touted as a great way to achieve these benefits but many can’t run because of injuries or arthritis to weight-bearing joints.  Swimming and rowing are alternative exercise choices, but, their skeletal benefits compared to running are less clear.  This month research was presented at the 13th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA noting rowing may be an option in keeping bones healthy.
John O’Kane, MD presented his research evaluating differences in the skeletal molecular markers NTx and CTx-II in college runners, rowers, swimmers, and students not engaged in high level sporting activity or training.  These molecular markers are used to index the rate of human bone and cartilage turnover.  NTx provides a systemic index of osteoclastic bone resorption and is elevated in the setting of increased bone metabolism.  CTx-II, is used as a marker of cartilage breakdown.  The NTx marker for bone metabolism was highest in the rowers while the CTx-II marker for cartilage degradation was highest in the runners.  NTx was second highest in the runners with swimmers and non-athlete students being equal. CTx-II was not significantly different between the rowers, swimmers, and non-athlete students.
Dr. O’Kane suggests rowing may be a great activity to keep bones healthy with less stress on weight-bearing joints when running isn’t an option.  Swimming provides aerobic exercise with minimal joint stress, but it does not stimulate bone metabolism like the other activities.  Dr. O’Kane is an associate professor in the University of Washington Dept. of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM).
The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was organized in 1991by physicians who recognized the need for an organization within the field of sports medicine that approached athletes, exercising individuals, and teams comprehensively with consultative and continuous care of their orthopedic, medical, nutritional, and psychosocial issues.  Although sports medicine concepts are often thought of in conjunction with professional and elite athletes, these concepts apply to athletes of all levels including grade school, high school, college and recreational athletes.  AMSSM is comprised of over 800 Sports Medicine Physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting.

NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.

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4000 W. 114th Street, Suite 100
Leawood, KS 66211
Phone: 913.327.1415

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