Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency in the United States. This condition has been reported to affect 60% of female athletes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasize screening for anemia in women of childbearing age. The purpose of this study was to determine the number of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-A schools that implement screening for iron deficiency in female athletes as well as the screening policies for those who do. A link to an online survey was sent to 94 NCAA Division I-A schools to determine current practices concerning screening and treating female athletes for iron deficiency. There was a 58% response rate. Frequencies for each response were computed. Forty-three percent of responding institutions report screening female athletes for iron deficiency. This study suggests that screening for iron deficiency in female athletes at NCAA Division I-A schools is not a routine procedure and, for those who do screen, variability exists in the criteria for diagnosis, as well as in treatment protocols. Standard protocols for assessment and treatment of iron deficiency in female athletes need to be developed and implemented.
Brandy S. Cowell, Christine A. Rosenbloom, Robert Skinner, and Stephanie H. Summers
Phillip E. Nichols, Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Christine A. Rosenbloom, and Marvin Trinkaus
The purpose of this study was to determine collegiate athletes’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors concerning hydration and fluid replacement. A survey containing questions pertaining to demographics and knowledge, attitude, and behavior on hydration and fluid replacement was distributed to the athletes during team meetings and practices. A total of 139 out of 171 (81.3%) athletes participated in the study. The mean age of the athletes was 19.8 y. The mean score for knowledge, attitude, and behavior was 13.9 ± 1.8, 9.8 ± 2.2, and 12.4 ± 2.5, respectively, with higher scores indicating positive hydration knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Significant positive correlation was observed between knowledge, attitude, and behavior scores (P < 0.05). Significant difference (P < 0.05) was observed in the reported hydration behaviors between skilled (11.79 ± 2.08) and endurance (12.71 ± 2.63) athletes. Most athletes correctly answered the general hydration questions on the survey, but the majority did not correctly answer statements in regards to National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) position stands and lacked knowledge regarding appropriate use of sports drink. The results of this study identify specific areas of education for athletes with regards to hydration.