Female collegiate field hockey players showed decreases in iron stores (as measured by serum ferritin) in each of 3 successive fall seasons studied. After the 1st season of regular play, a decrease (25-23 ng/ml) was observed, but measurements after post-season tournament play for the 2nd and 3rd seasons showed significant (P < 0.05) decreases of 37% (30-19 ng/ml) and 30% (24-17 ng/ml), respectively. The added stress of tournament play appeared to cause additional loss of reserve iron nearly as great as that experienced during early season training. After several years of play, serum ferritin levels in these athletes were frequently between 10 and 20 ng/ml, with the lowest levels occurring in 3rd- and 4th-year athletes. Those women who participated in all 3 years had progressively declining serum ferritin levels throughout their collegiate careers. Participation in collegiate field hockey jeopardizes body iron stores, and iron reserves tend to become progressively more depleted after successive seasons of competition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation