Haematological status in elite long-distance runners: influence of body composition

C Suetta, I L Kanstrup, N Fogh-Andersen

    6 Citationer (Scopus)


    In 10 female and eight male Danish elite middle- and long-distance runners, haematological status, including blood volume, was examined. Haemoglobin, haematocrit and serum (s)-ferritin concentrations were all within the normal range. In both men and women, blood volume, plasma volume and erythrocyte volume were increased in relation to various reference values. However, the runners had a low body weight due to a reduced fat level, 9.5% (7.3-15.1%) fat for the women, 5.9% (5.0-8.8%) fat (median and ranges) for the men, measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning. When the runners' body weights were 'normalized' to a reference population (25% fat for women, 15% fat for men), only plasma volume remained increased in relation to body weight for the women, whereas all the volumes remained increased for the men. This confirms that endurance training induces a true increased plasma volume. The lower erythrocyte volume in the women compared with the men could be a consequence of the generally poorer iron status in the women, indicating that a combination of haemolysis, menstruation and low caloric (iron) intake makes it difficult for trained women to obtain optimal effects on erythrocyte volume equal to those obtained by trained men. Furthermore, the study emphasizes the importance of taking body composition into consideration when comparing well-trained athletes with a reference population.

    TidsskriftClinical physiology (Oxford, England)
    Udgave nummer6
    Sider (fra-til)563-74
    Antal sider12
    StatusUdgivet - nov. 1996


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