Effect of physical activity as a caddie on ultrasound measurements of the Os calcis: a cross-sectional comparison

J Bone Miner Res. 1996 Mar;11(3):412-8. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.5650110316.


This cross-sectional study investigated the effect of long-term activity as a caddie on ultrasonic properties of the os calcis. We measured 74 healthy women, age 20-59 years, who worked at a golf course as caddies. An age-matched control group of 433 healthy women, who were office workers or housewives, also were recruited for comparison. The ultrasound measurements were performed with an Achilles ultrasound densitometer. The quadriceps muscle strength and the hand grip strength were measured in a perimenopausal subgroup (45-59 years) of the caddies and a subgroup of controls matched for age, height, weight, and body mass index. Urinary pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline were also measured in these perimenopausal subgroups. Caddies had significantly higher ultrasound values than controls in the 40-49 (stiffness index, 101.6 +/- 12.9% versus 87.9 +/- 11.9%; p < 0.0001) and 50-59 (stiffness index, 90.5 +/- 11.6% versus 77.2 +/- 11.6%; p < 0.0001) age-stratified groups. Quadriceps strength and grip strength were significantly higher in caddies than those in controls. In postmenopausal caddies, all ultrasound values were significantly higher than for controls. In caddies there were not significant decreases of any ultrasound values with postmenopausal age. Even for the subgroup within 3 years of menopause there were significant differences between caddies and controls (p < 0.01). There were no significant increases of pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline after menopause in the caddies. We demonstrated that the caddies had higher ultrasound properties of the os calcis and lower bone resorption after menopause compared with controls.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone Resorption / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Resorption / physiopathology
  • Calcaneus / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcaneus / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Physical Fitness
  • Premenopause
  • Ultrasonography