Iron Deficiency in Adolescent Cross-Country Runners

Phys Sportsmed. 1983 Jun;11(6):60-6. doi: 10.1080/00913847.1983.11708559.


In brief: Results of screening for iron deficiency in 18 female adolescent runners and two case reports of iron deficiency are described. Eleven of eighteen girls had ferritin values of less than 20 ng· ml(-2) before treatment with oral ferrous sulfate. The case reports show that the two girls with iron deficiency anemia improved their performances after their anemia was treated. Serum ferritin determinations were a sensitive indicator of iron deficiency. Only two cases would have been diagnosed if the usual criteria for iron deficiency anemia were used. Close observation of this age-group for iron deficiency seems warranted.