FINLAY MACRAE; D. JAMES B. ST. JOHN; P. CALIGIORE
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To the editor: McMahon and colleagues (1) studied faecal occult blood tests in runners before and after the 1983 Boston Marathon and concluded that runners' anemia is due at least in part to gastrointestinal blood loss.
The methods used in their fecal occult blood testing do not allow them to draw this conclusion. In their study, the Hemoccult (SmithKline Diagnostics Division, Sunnyvale, California) slides were developed after preliminary rehydration, a technique that increases slide sensitivity for blood and other peroxidase-containing substances, particularly red meat (2, 3). The runners were not asked to restrict red meat or other peroxidase-rich foods (4)
MACRAE F, ST. JOHN DJB, CALIGIORE P. Gastrointestinal Blood Loss in Runners. Ann Intern Med. ;101:875. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-101-6-875_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(6):875.
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