LAURENCE F. McMAHON Jr., M.D., M.P.H.; MICHAEL J. RYAN, M.D.; DANIEL LARSON, M.D.; ROSEMARIE L. FISHER, M.D.
Runners have developed several unique health problems, including "runner's anemia." A review of studies of runner's anemia shows that ferritin (1-2), serum haptoglobin (1-3), and serum iron (1-3) levels are often lower in runners than in controls and that some runners have actual anemia (2-4). The mechanisms for these abnormal hematologic values and anemia have been believed to be secondary to hemoglobinuria from erythrocyte destruction in the feet (1, 3), iron loss through sweat (5), hematuria (6), and impaired iron absorption (5). However, in no study were runners examined to rule out occult gastrointestinal blood loss as a possible cause.
McMAHON LF, RYAN MJ, LARSON D, FISHER RL. Occult Gastrointestinal Blood Loss in Marathon Runners. Ann Intern Med. ;100:846–847. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-100-6-846
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;100(6):846-847.
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