Exercise addiction describes a pattern of excessive and obsessive exercise and is associated with hypoleptinemia and low testosterone that may have adverse skeletal effects. We used a validated questionnaire to identify males with high and low risk of exercise addiction. In a cross-sectional design, males (aged 21-49 years) with high (n = 20, exercise addictive) and low risk (n = 20, exercise controls) of exercise addiction had examinations of bone mass, bone microarchitecture, and estimated bone strength performed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry of the hip and spine and high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography of the distal radius and tibia. Findings were compared between the groups and to a population-based sample of healthy men aged 20-80 years (n = 236). We found similar hip and spine bone mineral density in exercise addictive and controls. Cortical and trabecular bone microarchitecture and estimated bone strength in radius and tibia did not differ significantly between the groups. Multiple regression analyses adjusting for age, body weight, free testosterone, and hours of weekly training did not alter findings. Also, bone indices from both groups were within 95% prediction bands derived from the population-based sample for the vast majority of indices. Neither group had no associations between circulating leptin or free testosterone and bone outcomes. In conclusion, in a study on younger males, we found no associations between high risk of exercise addiction and various indices of bone mass and bone quality indicative of altered skeletal health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1021442
JournalFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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