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Sports anaemia and anthropometric evaluation of footballers at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

Clement Opoku-Okrah
Daniel Kwasi Sam
Bernard Nkum
Elliot Eli Dogbe
Lilian Antwi-Boateng
Benedict Sackey
Daniel Gyamfi
Kwabena Owusu Danquah


Introduction: Sports anaemia is a physiological activity that occurs amongst footballers and may be due to poor diet, over-training, as well as an increase in plasma volume in endurance training activities. High plasma volume leads to changes in haematological parameters that may impact on endurance of footballers. The objective of the study was to determine the correlation between haematological and an-thropometric indices and their role in sports anaemia in a tropical setting. Methods: Venous blood was taken into EDTA for 12 soccer players of KNUST soccer team before training and after training for the first (W1) and fifth (W5) weeks of training sessions. Complete blood count analysis was done for each blood sample and anthropometric parameters such as height, weight, body mass index, body fat percent and lean body mass were also measured. Cross-tabulations with mean and standard deviation or median and range were computed. Paired t-test & and Mann-Whitney test for parametric and non-parametric data computations were carried out and a p-value ≤ 0.05 was taken to rep-resent significant difference between data groups. Results: There was significant reduction in haemoglobin (p =0.003), haematocrit (p =0.002), mean cell volume (MCV) (p =0.034) and red blood cell (RBC) count (p=0.011) as a result of a significant expansion of plasma volume (p= 0.006). Neutrophil, lymphocyte and eosinophil counts were reduced significantly (p= 0.043, 0.001 and 0.007, respectively) after the training at W5. Lean body mass (LBM) inversely correlated with haemoglobin (r= -0.787, p= 0.002) and haematocrit (r= -0.588, p= 0.044). Body fat percentage (BFP) also negatively correlated with lymphocyte count (r= -0.700, p= 0.011). Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between body mass index (BMI) and plasma volume change after the training programme (r=0.689, p= 0.013). Conclusion: The results suggest that sports anaemia was induced by an increase in plasma volume that resulted in changes in haematological parameters.

Pan African Medical Journal 2016; 24

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