The effect of weight training on bone mineral density and bone turnover in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors with bone loss: a 24-month randomized controlled trial


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Abstract

SummaryThis study examined whether 24 months of weight training exercises enhanced the effectiveness of risedronate, calcium, and vitamin D in maintaining or improving bone mineral density (BMD) in 223 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors. Subjects who were ≥50% adherent to exercise had no improvement in BMD but were less likely to lose BMD.IntroductionThis study examined whether (1) postmenopausal breast cancer survivors (BCS) with bone loss taking 24 months of risedronate, calcium, and vitamin D had increased bone mineral density (BMD) at the total hip, femoral neck, L1-L4 spine, total radius and 33% radius, and decreased bone turnover; (2) subjects who also participated in strength/weight training (ST) exercises had greater increases in BMD and greater decreases in bone turnover; and (3) subjects who also exercised were more likely to preserve (at least maintain) BMD.MethodsPostmenopausal BCS (223) were randomly assigned to exercise plus medication or medication only groups. Both groups received 24 months of 1,200 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D daily and 35 mg of risedronate weekly, and the exercise group additionally had ST exercises twice weekly.ResultsAfter 24 months, women who took medications without exercising had significant improvements in BMD at the total hip (+1.81%) and spine (+2.85%) and significant decreases in Alkphase B (-8.7%) and serum NTx (-16.7%). Women who also exercised had additional increases in BMD at the femoral neck (+0.29%), total hip (+0.34%), spine (+0.23%), total radius (+0.30%), and additional decreases in Alkphase B (-2.4%) and Serum NTx (-6.5%). Additional changes in BMD and bone turnover with exercise were not significant. Subjects who were ≥50% adherent to exercise were less likely to lose BMD at the total hip (chi-square [1] = 4.66, p = 0.03) and femoral neck (chi-square [1] = 4.63, p = 0.03).ConclusionStrength/weight training exercises may prevent loss of BMD in postmenopausal BCS at risk for bone loss.

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