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SPORTS MEDICINE: Vitamin D more vital than ever | John Doherty

The best opportunity for preventive care, according to Wojtys, occurs in the teenage years, decades before diagnosis. “Peak bone mass is dependent on 5 main factors: sex, race, hormones, nutrition and physical activity,” he wrote. “Sex and race are nonmodifiable, while nutrition, physical activity and hormones are.

“While all the first 20 years of life are important in bone development, approximately 40% to 60% of adult bone mass is achieved during adolescence. Interestingly, 25% of peak bone mass is acquired during the two-year span around peak height velocity: 12.5 years of age for girls and 14 years of age for boys. Nearly all (90%) peak bone mass will have accrued by the age of 18 years, often determining our fracture risk for the rest of our lives.”

Dietary calcium is key for developing strong bones.

Wojtys advises teenagers get 1,300 mg per day for optimal growth. “Keeping in mind that an 8-ounce serving of milk provides 300 mg of calcium” Wojtys wrote, “it is clear that the calcium demand for optimal growth is not easily met. I don’t know of many teenagers who drink four glasses of milk per day. For those restricted to vegetable diets and who do not consume milk or other calcium-fortified plant milks, the challenge to obtain enough calcium becomes much more difficult.”

To optimize absorption of calcium, Vitamin D is necessary. Without Vitamin D, bones are able to absorb only 10-15% of available dietary calcium, according to Wojtys. This vital substance is found in milk, eggs, fish, breakfast cereal and multivitamins. Play outside in warm weather, in a T-shirt and shorts, and the sun and your skin will combine to make it for you.

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SPORTS MEDICINE: National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month a time to look back | John Doherty

When the season did resume for the Blues, though, in a bubble in Edmonton in July, the team announced that Bouwmeester was not going to be with them.

It is unlikely he will ever be with the Blues — or any other NHL team — again. Yet, the former Olympic gold medalist (Sochi 2014) should still be thankful. The presence of medical professionals and their swift use of the AED made his chance of survival much greater.

A study published in 2018 in Sports Health identified 132 cases of SCA suffered among athletes age 11 to 27 between 2014 and 2016. Survival to discharge from a hospital was the result for 64, or 48% of the victims. However, if an AED was present and used promptly, the survival rate increased to 89%. Furthermore, whether an AED was available or not, if an athletic trainer was in attendance, the survival rate was 83%.

Had Bouwmeester been stricken at home or on a city street, his chance of survival would have been only 10%. Multiple studies have consistently demonstrated that rate nationwide.

A more recent study, since the onset of COVID-19, reported worse numbers. The decreased survivability was blamed on bystanders declining to do CPR, because of being fearful of catching the virus, and paramedics taking longer to arrive, due to having to don extra equipment to protect themselves from the virus.

If more members of the general public were trained and willing to do CPR, the success rate found in athletic arenas would be duplicated elsewhere.

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