Prevalence of Iron Deficiency with Or Without Anemia In Female Athletes- A Review
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 11, Pages 2586-2595
AbstractBackground: Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition and the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in female athletes across worldwide. It has been shown to impact overall health as well as the physical performance of female athletes.
Objective: To provide a literature review on the prevalence of iron deficiency with or without anemia in female athletes and to understand its effects on health and sports performance.
Methods: International databases Google Scholar, PubMed and MEDLINE were searched using combinations of the keywords: ‘iron deficiency’, ‘iron status’, ‘iron-deficiency anemia’, ‘female athletes’, ‘sports performance’, ‘causes’, ‘health consequences’. Studies were conducted only on female athletes from 2000 to 2020 and published in English included in the present study. The present study included varied study designs like cross-sectional studies or surveys, controlled clinical trial studies, descriptive studies, comparative studies, retrospective, and correlational studies.
Results: A total of 11 studies have been included in this review based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Most of the studies had reported low hemoglobin levels and low iron status in female athletes (15 to 35 years) of different sports. It has been found that there was a high prevalence of iron deficiency with or without anemia in female athletes.
Conclusion: It concluded that female athletes are at higher prevalence of developing iron-deficiency and anemia. Iron deficiency (with or without anemia) may severely affect an athlete’s ability to perform at an optimal level. Proper health education to increase knowledge about anemia, as well as its causative factors, iron store screening, appropriate nutritional education and iron supplementation are warranted.
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