Eberman, L. E., Kahanov, L., Long, N., Adams, H., Landis, M. L., & Ingebretsen, J. (2012). Ferritin, hematocrit, and hemoglobin as biochemical markers of iron deficiency in collegiate runners. Presentation 1731 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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Observations were made of serum ferritin, hemoglobin, and hematocrit levels in male (N = 23) and female (N = 19) Division II collegiate cross country and track athletes. Ss underwent blood-draw and physical history examinations. Following the examinations, age, height, weight, gender, ferritin, hematocrit, and hemoglobin levels for all Ss were collected.

Overall, Ss demonstrated within normal limits for ferritin, hematocrit, and hemoglobin levels. When determining athletes with low levels, differences were found in at-risk athletes (M = 2; F = 1). Insufficient levels of hematocrit were found in M = 22 and F = 12. Hemoglobin was lower than normal in 6 males.

Implication. Observing ferritin levels alone is insufficient to determine iron deficiency. Hematocrit level is a more sensitive indicator of iron deficiency when triangulated with ferritin and training regime.

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