Saturday, September 19, 2009

Exercise ups anemia risk in young men

While exercise is believed to be good for health, a new study finds that strenuous physical activity places young men at an increased risk of iron deficiency.

According to the study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, intense physical activity increases the risk of developing anemia (low blood count) as well as iron deficiency in young men.

An intense six-month training program is reported to not only triple the risk of anemia to over 50 percent but also to double the risk of iron deficiency from about 15 to 27 percent.

"Iron deficiency and anemia are generally uncommon findings in healthy male adolescents. However, athletes who engage in strenuous physical activity are known to be at increased risk for so-called 'sports anemia," reported scientists.

Researchers believe drinking sufficient amounts of water is the main reason, which may contribute to the condition through temporarily diluting the blood and subsequently damaging blood cells.