The prevalence of anemia in Japanese Universiade athletes, detected with longitudinal preparticipation medical examinations

Takayuki Komatsu*, Fumihiro Yamasawa, Michiko Dohi, Takao Akama, Atsushi Masujima, Ichiro Kono, Takashi Kawahara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: No reports have evaluated the long-term trends of the prevalence of anemia in Universiade athletes using preparticipation medical examinations (PPMEs). We aimed to investigate the prevalence of anemia among Japanese Universiade athletes, using longitudinal PPMEs. Methods: In this retrospective, observational study, athletes with published data from official reports of the Japanese delegation of the summer Universiade games between 1977 and 2011 were included, as were similar-aged nonathletes with published health data, extracted from official national reports from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. PPME data and national health survey data included blood tests for anemia and the age of each participant. We compared the anemia prevalence in both groups using an unpaired t test. Results: Anemia prevalence among Universiade athletes decreased by 11.6% over the study period (13.3% in 1977 to 1.7% in 2011). Moreover, anemia prevalence between 1991 and 2011 in the total Universiade athlete population was significantly lower than that in the nonathletic population (mean ± standard deviation: 5.2 ± 2.9% vs 9.8 ± 1.5%, respectively; P =.025). In female Universiade athletes, anemia prevalence between 1977 and 1981 was higher than that in the nonathletic populations (48.1% vs 19.7%, respectively). However, in 2003, this value was lower than that in nonathletic female populations (8.5% vs 19.8%, respectively). Conclusions: A decrease in anemia prevalence in Japanese Universiade athletes was revealed with longitudinal PPMEs. Hematological parameters should be evaluated longitudinally in athletes to provide continuous performance support throughout the athlete's career.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General and Family Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May


  • Universiade athlete
  • anemia
  • preparticipation medical examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Family Practice


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