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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Karen Hind, PhD

Assistant Professor in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Contact Dr Karen Hind (email at


Dr Karen Hind was appointed to the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences in September 2018 as Assistant Professor and is Chair of the Departmental Research Ethics Committee.

Following a Doctoral Fellowship in the School of Medicine, University of Leeds, she was awarded her PhD in 2005. Her PhD research was the first to demonstrate a similar risk for bone density deficits in men and women elite long distance runners, with shared risk factors including high running volume, relative energy deficit and low body fat.

She was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Leeds Institute for Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds in 2005 and contributed to studies in childhood obesity and bone health in cystic fibrosis while also serving as a Knowledge Transfer Expert for the School of Health. In 2007 she joined Leeds Beckett University, where as Senior Research Fellow, she established and led the Bone and Body Composition Research Group and dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) imaging unit, facilitating university and externally funded research into obesity, athlete health and musculoskeletal conditions. In 2016, she was awarded the University Mid Career Research Prize for her research into exercise and musculoskeletal health.

Karen is a Certified Clinical Densitometrist and a member of Leadership Committee of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) - a multidisciplinary organisation dedicated to advancing excellence in the assessment of skeletal health, and which partners with the International Osteoporosis Foundation for training provision and educational campaigns. She currently serves as Chair for the UK-Ireland ISCD Panel and delivers on national training courses in densitometry.

She is an Honorary Fellow at Newcastle University and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, Trinity College, University of Dublin. Karen is also Associate Editor for Plos One, grant reviewer for the National Institute for Health Research and Hong Kong Health Bureau, and Expert Evaluator for the European Cooperation in Science and Technology Association.

Research Interests

Karen’s research spans two themes: 1) musculoskeletal health across the lifespan, particularly osteoporosis and the effects of exercise on MSK outcomes, and 2) current and retired athlete health.

Her ongoing research in musculoskeletal health and ageing includes a novel exercise and nutrition trial aiming to improve bone and muscle strength in older women (ELDAS - trial registration - ISRCTN12419961). She is a member of the Newcastle Thousand Families Study team, and is leading the age 62 y wave investigations into life course risk factors for osteoporosis, fracture and osteoarthritis. Karen is also a co-investigator on an NIHR funded-study into microRNA involvement in musculoskeletal ageing.

Karen leads the multi-disciplinary UK Rugby Health Project and co-leads the Global Rugby Health Research Network - a consortium dedicated to improving knowledge on the long term health of retired rugby players comprising of over 100 researchers across 9 countries. This joint initiative with Auckland University of Technology's Professor Patria Hume and Dr Doug King, was founded in response to calls for collaborative international efforts to address athlete wellbeing. Collaborative institutions include the University of Sydney, Harvard University, the University of Regina, University of Victoria and Trinity College Dublin. One of the key topics of research is mild traumatic brain injury in sports and efforts are underway to understand how sub/concussive trauma affects the brain both acutely and in the longer term. 

With Visiting Fellow Dr Nicola Keay, Karen is also co-leading research into relative energy deficit and the effects on bone, body composition and performance in elite cyclists (funded by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine).

Her work has contributed to national and international guidance and official reports including the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the International Osteoporosis Foundation. Her methodology-based work includes best practice recommendations for the acquisition and interpreting of DXA scans.

Karen enjoys public engagement and is regularly invited to communicate research and expertise through keynotes and guest lectures, patient group meetings, school outreach and through the media, with recent contributions to BBC Trust me I'm a DoctorThe One Show and The Truth about Menopause.

PhD Students

If you are interested in studying for a PhD or Masters of Research with Karen's supervision, she would be pleased to hear from you. Previous students have achieved highly ranked publications and international Young Investigator Awards.

Current and previous doctoral students include:

Ian Entwistle - Musculoskeletal and Neuromuscular Health in Retired Rugby Players: the UK Rugby Health Project

Cliodyna McHugh - Cardiometabolic Profile and Risk Factors in Professional Male Rugby Players

Lawrence Mayhew - Neuromuscular Risk Factors for Injury in Elite Female Football Players

Ian O'Sullivan - Understanding Factors Affecting Running Economy

Ashley Jones -Lean Tissue Mass, Muscle Function and Subsequent Injury Risk in Professional English Football Players

Mathew Butterworth - Healthy Ageing and Interventions for the Prevention and Management of Sarcopenia

Dr Lisa Gannon - Bone Health in High Performance Male Gymnasts from Age 5 y to Senior Level

(Advisor) Matthew Lees - The Effects of Age and Physical (in)activity on the Anabolic Resistance to Essential Amino Acids in Older Adults

Research Interests

  • Athlete health
  • Bone
  • Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
  • Exercise and bone health
  • Fracture
  • Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Musculoskeletal Health
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport
  • Sport and exercise medical science
  • Sport Injury Epidemiology
  • Stress Fracture
  • Visceral fat

Teaching Areas

  • Contemporary Research Methods

  • Exercise Programmes for Health and Performance (3rd year, module convenor)

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Forsyth, Jacky & Hind, Karen (2018). Bone Health and the Exercising Female. In The Exercising Female: Science and Its Application. Forsyth, Jacky & Roberts, Claire-Marie Abingdon, Oxon New York, NY: Routledge. 85-99.

Journal Article

  • Zemski, A.J.,, Keating, S.E., Broad, E.M., Marsh, D.J., Hind, K. & Slater, G.J. (Published). Preseason Body Composition Adaptations in Elite White and Polynesian Rugby Union Athletes. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism 29(1): 9-17.
  • Butterworth, Mathew, Lees, Matthew, Harlow, Paul, Hind, Karen, Duckworth, Lauren & Ispoglou, Theocharis (2019). Αcute effects of essential amino acid gel-based and whey protein supplements on appetite and energy intake in older women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism 44(11): 1141-1149.
  • Thornley, Isobel, Hynd, Jason, Stein, Stella, Butterworth, Mathew, Hind, Karen & Francis, Peter (2019). A new approach to the classification of muscle health: preliminary investigations. Physiological Measurement 40(8): 085001.
  • Swainson, Michelle Grace Batterham, Alan Mark & Hind, Karen (2019). Age- and Sex-Specific Reference Intervals for Visceral Fat Mass in Adults. International Journal of Obesity
  • O'Sullivan, Ian, Johnson, Mark, Hind, Karen, Breen, Sarah & Francis, Peter (2019). Are changes in running economy associated with changes in performance in runners? A systematic review. Journal of Sport Sciences
  • Hind, Karen & Oldroyd, Brian (2019). Bone mineral density precision for individual and combined vertebrae configurations from lumbar spine dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans. Journal of Clinical Densitometry
  • McHugh, Cliodhna, Wilson, Fiona, Hind, Karen & Davey, Daniel (2019). Cardiovascular health of retired field-based athletes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine 7(8): 2325967119862750.
  • Keay, Nicola , Francis, Gavin Entwistle, Ian & Hind, Karen (2019). Clinical evaluation of education relating to nutrition and skeletal loading in competitive male road cyclists at risk of relative energy deficiency in sports (RED-S): 6-month randomized controlled trial. BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine 5(1): e000523.
  • Zemski, Adam J., Keating, Shelley E., Broad, Elizabeth M., Marsh, Damian J., Hind, Karen, Walters, Kylie J. & Slater, Gary J. (2019). Differences in visceral adipose tissue and biochemical cardiometabolic risk markers in elite rugby union athletes of Caucasian and Polynesian descent. European Journal of Sport Science
  • Jones, Ashley, Jones, Gareth, Greig, Neil, Bower, James, Brown, James, Hind, Karen & Francis, Peter (2019). Epidemiology of Injury in English Professional Football Players: a cohort study. Physical Therapy in Sport 35: 18-22.
  • Forsyth, J., Evans, A., Hind, K., Paskins, Z. & Babatunde, O. (2019). Exercise interventions for preventing and treating low bone mass in the forearm: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Hillier, Matthew, Sutton, Louise, James, Lewis, Mojtahedi, Dara, Keay, Nicola & Hind, Karen (2019). High Prevalence and Magnitude of Rapid Weight Loss in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 29(5): 512-517.
  • Lees, Matthew J. Wilson, Oliver J. Hind, Karen & Ispoglou, Theocharis (2019). Muscle quality as a complementary prognostic tool in conjunction with sarcopenia assessment in younger and older individuals. European Journal of Applied Physiology 119: 1171.
  • Rudman, Harry, Birrell, Fraser, Pearce, Mark, Tuck, Stephen, Francis, Roger & Hind, Karen (2019). Obesity, bone density relative to body weight and prevalent vertebral fracture at age 62 years: the Newcastle Thousand Families Study. Osteoporosis International 30(4): 829-836.
  • Hind, K, Hayes, L, Basterfield, L, Pearce, M S & Birrell, F (2019). Objectively-measured sedentary time, habitual physical activity and bone strength in adults aged 62 years: the Newcastle Thousand Families Study. Journal of Public Health
  • Zemski, Adam, Hind, Karen, Keating, Shelley, Broad, Elizabeth, Marsh, Damian & Slater, Gary (2019). Same-day versus consecutive-day precision error of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for interpreting body composition change in resistance trained athletes. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 22(1): 104-114.
  • Lees, M.J., Beggs, C.B., Barlow, M.J., Rutherford, Z.H., Bansil, K., Gannon, L. & Hind, K. (2018). Bone Density and Cross-sectional Geometry of the Proximal Femur Are Bilaterally Elevated in Elite Cricket Fast Bowlers. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 21(3): 399-405.
  • Oldroyd, B., Treadgold, L. & Hind, K. (2018). Cross Calibration of the GE Prodigy and iDXA for the Measurement of Total and Regional Body Composition in Adults. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 21(3): 383-393.
  • Thurlow, S., Oldroyd, B. & Hind, K. (2018). Effect of Hand Positioning on DXA Total and Regional Bone and Body Composition Parameters, Precision Error, and Least Significant Change. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 21(3): 375-382.
  • Thurlow, S., Taylor-Covill, G., Sahota, P., Oldroyd, B. & Hind, K. (2018). Effects of procedure, upright equilibrium time, sex and BMI on the precision of body fluid measurements using bioelectrical impedance analysis. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72(1): 148-153.
  • Hind, K., Slater, G., Oldroyd, B., Lees, M., Thurlow, S., Barlow, M. & Shepherd, J. (2018). Interpretation of Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry-Derived Body Composition Change in Athletes: A Review and Recommendations for Best Practice. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 21(3): 429-443.
  • Keay, N., Francis, G. & Hind, K. (2018). Low energy availability assessed by a sport-specific questionnaire and clinical interview indicative of bone health, endocrine profile and cycling performance in competitive male cyclists. BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine 4(1): e000424.
  • Jones, B., Till, K., Roe, G., O’Hara, J., Lees, M., Barlow, M.J. & Hind, K. (2018). Six-year body composition change in male elite senior rugby league players. Journal of Sports Sciences 36(3): 266-271.
  • Francis, P., Lyons, M., Piasecki, M., Mc Phee, J., Hind, K. & Jakeman, P. (2017). Measurement of muscle health in aging. Biogerontology 18(6): 901-911.
  • Swainson, M.G., Batterham, A.M., Tsakirides, C., Rutherford, Z.H. & Hind, K. (2017). Prediction of whole-body fat percentage and visceral adipose tissue mass from five anthropometric variables. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177175.
  • Thurlow, S., Oldroyd, B. & Hind, K. (2017). Scan Mode Selection on the GE-Lunar iDXA Densitometer. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 20(4): 533.
  • Lees, M.J., Oldroyd, B., Jones, B., Brightmore, A., O'Hara, J.P., Barlow, M.J., Till, K. & Hind, K. (2017). Three-Compartment Body Composition Changes in Professional Rugby Union Players Over One Competitive Season: A Team and Individualized Approach. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 20(1): 50-57.
  • Hind, K., Pearce, M. & Birrell, F. (2017). Total and Visceral Adiposity Are Associated With Prevalent Vertebral Fracture in Women but Not Men at Age 62 Years: The Newcastle Thousand Families Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 32(5): 1109-1115.
  • Ispoglou, T., White, H., Preston, T., McElhone, S., McKenna, J. & Hind, K. (2016). Double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial of L-Leucine-enriched amino-acid mixtures on body composition and physical performance in men and women aged 65–75 years. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70(2): 182-188.
  • Jones, B., Emmonds, S., Hind, K., Nicholson, G., Rutherford, Z. & Till, K. (2016). Physical qualities of international female rugby league players by playing position. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 30(5): 1333-1340.
  • Hind, K. (2016). Sedentary Time and Central Adiposity in Children. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 19(3): 264-265.
  • Till, K., Jones, B., O'Hara, J., Barlow, M., Brightmore, A., Lees, M. & Hind, K. (2016). Three-compartment body composition in academy and senior rugby league players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 11(2): 191-196.
  • Lees, M.J., Bansil, K. & Hind, K. (2016). Total, regional and unilateral body composition of professional English first-class cricket fast bowlers. Journal of Sports Sciences 34(3): 252-258.
  • Hind, K., Cooper, W., Oldroyd, B., Davies, A. & Rhodes, L. (2015). A cross-calibration study of the GE-lunar iDXA and prodigy for the assessment of lumbar spine and total hip bone parameters via three statistical methods. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 18(1): 86-92.
  • Jones, B., Till, K., Barlow, M., Lees, M., O'Hara, J.P. & Hind, K. (2015). Anthropometric and three-compartment body composition differences between super league and championship rugby league players: Considerations for the 2015 season and beyond. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0133188.
  • Hind, K. & Oldroyd, B. (2015). Incidental Findings With Cross Calibration of the GE Prodigy and iDXA Densitometers. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 18(4): 561-563.
  • Hind, K., Gannon, L., Brightmore, A. & Beck, B. (2015). Insights into relationships between body mass, composition and bone: Findings in elite rugby players. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 18(2): 172-178.
  • Barlow, M.J., Oldroyd, B., Smith, D., Lees, M.J., Brightmore, A., Till, K., Jones, B. & Hind, K. (2015). Precision Error in Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Body Composition Measurements in Elite Male Rugby League Players. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 18(4): 546-550.
  • Oldroyd, B., Robinson, M., Lindley, E., Rhodes, L. & Hind, K. (2015). Resonant cavity perturbation: A promising new method for the assessment of total body water in children. Physiological Measurement 36(12): 2503-2517.
  • Hind, K. & Johnson, M.I. (2014). Complex regional pain syndrome in a competitive athlete and regional osteoporosis assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports 8(1).
  • Rhodes, L.A., Cooper, W., Oldroyd, B. & Hind, K. (2014). Cross-calibration of a GE iDXA and Prodigy for Total andRegional Body Bone Parameters: The Importance of Using Cross-calibration Equations for Longitudinal Monitoring AfteraSystem Upgrade. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 17(4): 496-504.
  • Hind, K., Torgerson, D., McKenna, J., Ashby, R., Daly-Smith, A., Truscott, J., MacKay, H. & Jennings, A. (2014). Developing interventions for children's exercise (DICE): A pilot evaluation of school-based exercise interventions for primary school children aged 7 to 8 years. Journal of Physical Activity and Health 11(4): 699-704.
  • Mellis, M.G., Oldroyd, B. & Hind, K. (2014). In vivo precision of the GE Lunar iDXA for the measurement of visceral adipose tissue in adults: The influence of body mass index. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 68(12): 1365-1367.
  • Hind, K., Birrell, F. & Beck, B. (2014). Prevalent morphometric vertebral fractures in professional male rugby players. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97427.
  • Hind, K., Jones, B. & King, R.F.G.J. (2014). Re: BONE: An acute buffer of plasma sodium during exhaustive exercise? Hormone and Metabolic Research 46(11): 819-820.
  • Hind, K. & Oldroyd, B. (2013). In-vivo precision of the GE Lunar iDXA densitometer for the measurement of appendicular and trunk lean and fat mass. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 67(12): 1331-1333.
  • Hind, K., Gannon, L., Whatley, E., Cooke, C. & Truscott, J. (2012). Bone cross-sectional geometry in male runners, gymnasts, swimmers and non-athletic controls: A hip-structural analysis study. European Journal of Applied Physiology 112(2): 535-541.
  • Hind, K., Oldroyd, B., Prajapati, A. & Rhodes, L. (2012). In Vivo Precision of Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry-Derived Hip Structural Analysis in Adults. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 15(3): 302-307.
  • Hind, K., Gannon, L., Whatley, E. & Cooke, C. (2012). Sexual dimorphism of femoral neck cross-sectional bone geometry in athletes and non-athletes: A hip structural analysis study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism 30(4): 454-460.
  • Hind, K., Zanker, C. & Truscott, J. (2011). Five-year follow-up investigation of bone mineral density by age in premenopausal elite-level long-distance runners. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 21(6): 521-523.
  • Hind, K., Oldroyd, B. & Truscott, J.G. (2011). In vivo precision of the GE Lunar iDXA densitometer for the measurement of total body composition and fat distribution in adults. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 65(1): 140-142.
  • Harley, J.A., Hind, K. & O'Hara, J.P. (2011). Three-compartment body composition changes in elite rugby league players during a super league season,measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25(4): 1024-1029.
  • Lloyd, R., Hind, K., Micklesfield, L.K., Carroll, S., Truscott, J.G., Parr, B., Davies, S. & Cooke, C. (2010). A pilot investigation of load-carrying on the head and bone mineral density in premenopausal, black African women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism 28(2): 185-190.
  • Lloyd, R., Hind, K., Micklesfield, L.K., Carroll, S., Truscott, J.G., Parr, B., Davies, S. & Cooke, C. (2010). Erratum: A pilot investigation of load-carrying on the head and bone mineral density in premenopausal, black African women (Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism DOI: 10.1007/s00774-009-0113-3). Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism 28(2): 191.
  • Hind, K., Oldroyd, B. & Truscott, J.G. (2010). In vivo precision of the GE Lunar iDXA densitometer for the measurement of total-body, lumbar spine, and femoral bone mineral density in adults. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 13(4): 413-417.
  • Lloyd, R., Hind, K., Parr, B., Davies, S. & Cooke, C. (2010). The Extra Load Index as a method for comparing the relative economy of load carriage systems. Ergonomics 53(12): 1500-1504.
  • Hind, K., Truscott, J. & Carroll, S. (2008). Case report: Female athlete triad in monozygotic twins. Physician and Sportsmedicine 36(1): 119-124.
  • Hind, K., Truscott, J.G. & Conway, S.P. (2008). Exercise during childhood and adolescence: A prophylaxis against cystic fibrosis-related low bone mineral density? Exercise for bone health in children with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis 7(4): 270-276.
  • Hind, K. (2008). Recovery of bone mineral density and fertility in a former amenorrheic athlete. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 7(3): 415-418.
  • Hind, K. & Burrows, M. (2007). Reply to letter to the editor re: "Weight-bearing exercise and bone mineral accrual in children and adolescents: A review of controlled trials" Bone 2007 40:14-27. Bone 41(5): 906-907.
  • Zanker, C. & Hind, K. (2007). The effect of energy balance on endocrine function and bone health in youth. Medicine and Sport Science 51: 81-101.
  • Hind, K. & Burrows, M. (2007). Weight-bearing exercise and bone mineral accrual in children and adolescents: A review of controlled trials. Bone 40(1): 14-27.
  • Hind, K., Truscott, J.G. & Evans, J.A. (2006). Low lumbar spine bone mineral density in both male and female endurance runners. Bone 39(4): 880-885.

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