Determination of Anemia, Iron, Folate and Vitamin BI2 Status and their Association with the Performance of Ethiopian Professional Athletes

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Better macro and micro nutrient status and their adequate intake of athletes has great role in balancing losses associated with strenuous exercise, then for better pe rformance . The aim of the study was to determine anemia. iron, folate and vitamin BI2 status of Ethiopian professional athletes and to fi nd if any association between body biochemical status and the ir performance. A cross sectional study was conducted using a convenient sample of 101 Ethiopian professional athletes from the period of February to April 20 14. Biochemical samples, performance data, 24 hour dietary divers ity and weekly food frequency were collected. The low, medium, and high dietary diversity tcrci les were 36. 1, 60.9 and 3.3% respectively. The mean ± SD of dietary divers ity was 5.44 ± 1. 8. Prevalence of iron overload (Serum ferr itin >200 nglml) was 11 %, whereas that of anemia and iron defic iency was 3% and 15%, respectively. The prevalence of moderate fo late defic iency was 20.8%. The mean serum vitamin BJ2 concentration was 561 ±23 l pglml and there was no deficiency for this nutrient. Running. distance was significant ly associated wi th the iron and fo late status of male athletes. In contrast, such association was absent for fe male athletes. Performance of the athletes was associated wi th their Red blood cell count (RBC) at (p<0.05). The high performer athletes exhibited better micronutrient status and hematological variables than their counter parts. However, the RBC of the athletes was the only parameter whose associat ion was stat ist ically sign ificant (p=0.03). The observed gender difference in the associat ion of running· distance category with iron and folate in this study needs further investigatio n. Given th~ 11% iron overload in the present study indicate there is a possibility to expose for hemochromatosis. Prescription of supplements such as iron· fo late, multivitamins and minera ls were based on broad spectrum of defi ciency in the athletes. But these prescriptions should be based on clinical laboratory testing to turn back iron overload and other trace element tox icity. In general it is recommendable to conduct iron overload assessment in Ethiopia hea lthy population.



Ethiopian professional Athletes