Home > Riviste > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Fascicoli precedenti > Articles online first > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 Jun 08



Per citare questo articolo


Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport

Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,215



The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 Jun 08

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07363-7


lingua: Inglese

Iron monitoring of male and female rugby sevens players over an international season

Anthea C. CLARKE 1, 2, 5 , Judith M. ANSON 2, Christine E. DZIEDZIC 3, Warren A. MCDONALD 4, David B. PYNE 1, 2

1 Physiology Department, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia; 2 Research Institute for Sport and Exercise, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia; 3 Sport Nutrition, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, Toronto, Canada; 4 Australian Rugby Union, Sydney, Australia; 5 Exercise Science, School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia


BACKGROUND: Given the likely influence that high training loads, contact-induced haemolysis and female-specific requirements have on the incidence of iron deficiency, characterising the direction and magnitude of fluctuations in iron status over an international season is important for managing player health and physical performance in rugby sevens.
METHODS: Australian national male (n=27) and female (n=23) rugby sevens players undertook blood tests at pre-season, mid-season, and end-season. Haemoglobin (Hb), haematocrit (Hct), ferritin, transferrin and transferrin saturation were quantified. Female athletes also reported oral contraceptive use and a subset (n=7) provided 7-day food diaries to quantify iron intake.
RESULTS: Male players typically had a three-fold higher ferritin concentration than females. Pre-season ferritin concentrations in male (151 ± 66 μg/L; mean ± SD) and female (51 ± 24 μg/L) players declined substantially (~20%) by mid-season, but recovered by end-season. Over the season 23% of female players were classified as iron deficient (ferritin <30 μg/L) and prescribed supplementation. The greatest incidence of iron deficiency in female players occurred mid-season (30%). Oral contraception and dietary iron intake had an unclear influence on female players’ ferritin concentration, while age was largely positively correlated (r = 0.66 ±~0.33).
CONCLUSIONS: Given the relatively low ferritin concentrations evident in female rugby sevens players, and the potential for a further decline midway through a season when physical load may be at its highest, 6-monthly haematological reviews are suggested in combination with dietary management. Annual screening may be beneficial for male players, with further monitoring only when clinically indicated.

KEY WORDS: Exercise - Gender - Health - Performance - Team sport

inizio pagina

Publication History

Per citare questo articolo

Clarke AC, Anson JM, Dziedzic CE, Mcdonald WA, Pyne DB. Iron monitoring of male and female rugby sevens players over an international season. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2017 Jun 08. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07363-7

Corresponding author e-mail