THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CIRCULATING ANDROGEN HORMONES, MAXIMAL OXYGEN UPTAKE AND THE SYMPTOMS OF EATING DISORDERS AMONG FEMALE ATHLETES
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Aim of the study: The aim was to analyse the possible associations between circulating androgen hormones, maximal oxygen uptake, and symptoms of eating disorders among female athletes. Method: In this cross-sectional study 72 female athletes participated. The scores from the 11 scales in Eating Disorders Inventory 2 (EDI 2) were used to disclose the symptoms in traits of eating disorders (ED). A maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) test stated the athlete’s physical endurance capacity, while fasting serum samples were collected for the analysis of circulating androgen hormones (CAH). The mean VO2max (53.4 ml/kg/min) divided the athletes in two groups, lower and higher VO2max. Statistics used in the analysis were descriptive, correlations, linear regression and independent-samples t-tests (P-value <0.05 were considered significant). Results: The athletes’ scored higher on the scales Perfectionism (P), Body Dissatisfaction (BD) and Drive for Thinness (DT) compared with the other scales in EDI 2. In the linear regression analysis of the scale Perfectionism and the hormone andostenedione, the result was statistically significant (p = 0.019). The athletes with lower VO2max (<53.4 ml/kg/min) tended to score higher on all the scales in EDI 2 and CAH compared with the athletes having higher VO2max (>53.4 ml/kg/min), except in the scales Maturity Fears (MF) and Asceticism (A), but the results between the groups were not statistically significant. Conclusion: The result was statistically significant between the scale Perfectionism and the hormone androstenedione. The female athletes with higher VO2max tended to score lower on both EDI 2 and the CAH. Keywords: Circulating androgen hormones (CAH), Eating Disorders (ED), Female Athlete, Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2max), Eating Disorder Inventory 2 (EDI 2).