University of Oulu

Toivo K, Kannus P, Kokko S, et al. Haemoglobin, iron status and lung function of adolescents participating in organised sports in the Finnish Health Promoting Sports Club Study, BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2020;6:e000804. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2020-000804

Haemoglobin, iron status and lung function of adolescents participating in organised sports in the Finnish Health Promoting Sports Club Study

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Author: Toivo, Kerttu1,2; Kannus, Pekka1; Kokko, Sami3;
Organizations: 1Tampere Research Center of Sports Medicine, Ukk Institute, Tampere, Finland
2Ukk Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland
3Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland
4Clinic for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Helsingin Yliopisto, Helsinki, Finland
5Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Central Finland Central Hospital, Jyvaskyla, Finland
6Paavo Nurmi Centre & Unit for Health and Physical Activity, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
7Department of Sports and Exercise Clinic, Oulu Deaconess Foundation, Oulu, Finland
8Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Medical Research Center, University of Oulu and University Hospital of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
10Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, Kuopio, Finland
11Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
12Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, Jyvaskyla, Finland
13Department of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Research Unit, Seinajoki Central Hospital and University of Tampere, Seinajoki, Finland
14The Research Services, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: BMJ, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-02-08


Objectives: To compare laboratory test results and lung function of adolescent organised sports participants (SP) with non-participants (NP).

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, laboratory tests (haemoglobin, iron status), and flow-volume spirometry were performed on SP youths (199 boys, 203 girls) and their NP peers (62 boys, 114 girls) aged 14–17.

Results: Haemoglobin concentration <120/130 g/L was found in 5.8% of SP and 5.1% NP (OR 1.20, 95% CI 0.54 to 2.68). Ferritin concentration below 15 µg/L was found in 22.7% of both SP and NP girls. Among boys ferritin <30 µg/L was found in 26.5% of SP and 30.2% of NP (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.40 to 1.47). Among SP iron supplement use was reported by 3.5% of girls and 1.5% of boys. In flow-volume spirometry with bronchodilation test, 7.0% of SP and 6.4% of NP had asthma-like findings (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.54 to 2.54); those using asthma medication, that is, 9.8% of SP and 5.2% of NP were excluded from the analysis.

Conclusions: Screening for iron deficiency is recommended for symptomatic persons and persons engaging in sports. Lung function testing is recommended for symptomatic persons and persons participating in sports in which asthma is more prevalent.

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Series: BMJ open sport & exercise medicine
ISSN: 2055-7647
ISSN-E: 2055-7647
ISSN-L: 2055-7647
Volume: 6
Issue: 1
Article number: e000804
DOI: 10.1136/bmjsem-2020-000804
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3141 Health care science
315 Sport and fitness sciences
Funding: This study was financially supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (major, grant number: 6/091/2011) and Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (minor, grant number: 152/THL/TE/2012).
Copyright information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.