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The primary objective is the description of bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition in newly licensed jockeys. One in three male, flat jockeys has a very low bone mineral density. Further research is needed to assess the short-term risk of fractures and long-term health implications of these findings. INTRODUCTION: Describe bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition in entry-level male and female, flat and jump jockeys in Great Britain. METHODS: Data was collected on jockeys applying for a professional jockey license between 2013 and 2015. Areal BMD at the spine, femoral neck (FN), total hip and body composition were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. We examined differences between BMD and body composition by gender and race type (flat or jump). Volumetric bone mineral apparent density (BMAD) of the spine and FN was also calculated to account for group differences in bone size. RESULTS: Seventy-nine male flat jockeys (age 18.5 ± 1.9, BMI 19.0 ± 1.4), 69 male jump (age 20.7 ± 2.0, BMI 20.6 ± 1.3) and 37 female flat jockeys (age 19.3 ± 2.0, BMI 20.8 ± 1.7) took part in this study. Spine BMD Z-scores ≤-2 for male flat, male jump and female flat jockeys were 29, 13 and 2.7%, respectively. Spine BMD was lower in male than female flat jockeys (p<0.001). All BMD scores were lower in male flat compared to male jump jockeys (p<0.001). Body fat percent (BF %) was lower in male flat jockeys compared to male jump and female flat jockeys (p<0.05). Lean mass index (LMI) was lower in male flat compared to male jump jockeys (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Male flat jockeys had a significantly lower BMD, LMI and BF% compared to jump jockeys and female flat jockeys. Male flat jockeys had lower spine BMD scores than females. Individual bone maturation may influence these findings. Further investigation into the relevance of low BMD and altered body composition on jockey health is required.

Original publication




Journal article


Osteoporos Int

Publication Date





2675 - 2682


Athlete, Body composition, Bone density, DEXA, Jockey, Absorptiometry, Photon, Adolescent, Anthropometry, Body Composition, Body Mass Index, Bone Density, Female, Femur Neck, Hip Joint, Humans, Lumbar Vertebrae, Male, Occupational Health, Sex Characteristics, Sports, Young Adult