Characterization of Risk Quantification Differences Using Female Athlete Triad Cumulative Risk Assessment and Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport Clinical Assessment Tool

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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This study’s objective was to identify differences in risk for low energy availability and athletic clearance level by comparing scores on Female Athlete Triad Cumulative Risk Assessment (Triad CRA) and Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport Clinical Assessment Tool (RED-S CAT). A total of 1,000 female athletes aged 15–30 years participating in ≥4 hr of physical activity/week for the previous ≥6 months completed an extensive survey assessing health, athletic history, family disease history, and specific Triad/RED-S risk factors. Retrospective chart review ascertained laboratory and bone mineral density measures. Triad CRA and RED-S CAT were used to assign each athlete’s risk level (low, moderate, and high), and case-by-case comparison measured the level of agreement between the tools. We hypothesized that the tools would generally agree on low-risk athletes and that the tools would be less aligned in the specific elevated risk level (moderate or high). Most of the sample was assigned moderate or high risk for Triad CRA and RED-S CAT (Triad: 54.7% moderate and 7.9% high; RED-S: 63.2% moderate and 33.0% high). The tools agreed on risk for 55.5% of athletes. Agreement increased to 64.3% when only athletes with bone mineral density measurements were considered. In conclusion, Triad CRA and RED-S CAT provide consensus on the majority of athletes at elevated (moderate or high) risk for low energy availability, but have less agreement on the specific risk level assigned.

Holtzman, Parziale, and Ackerman are with the Female Athlete Program, Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA. Holtzman is also with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Tenforde is with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA. Tenforde and Ackerman are with Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Ackerman is also with the Neuroendocrine Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Ackerman (kathryn.ackerman@childrens.harvard.edu) is corresponding author.
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