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December 1993

The Female Adolescent Athlete and Iron

Author Affiliations

Section of Adolescent Health Children's Hospital College of Medicine The Ohio State University Columbus

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(12):1279-1280. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160360021005

Sir.—I am writing in reference to the article by Raunikar and Sabio1 in the October 1992 issue of AJDC. I commend the authors on compiling an excellent case for attending to the iron status of adolescent athletes. However, there are a few points on which I differ from the authors.

First, there are better criteria for judging anemia in adolescents than those used by Raunikar and Sabio.1 I refer them to the articles by Daniel2 and by Liebman et al,3 in particular. The racial differences in norms for hemoglobin levels and hematocrit should not be disregarded. Second, a study I was involved in showed significant differences on measures of iron stores between athletes and nonathletes.4 Third, adolescents do not necessarily have poor dietary nutrient intakes compared with adults. As the authors pointed out, however, adolescent girls, both athletes and nonathletes, consume significantly less iron than