OBJECTIVE: There is widespread public concern about fairness in sports. Blood doping undermines fairness and places athletes' health at risk. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of abnormal hematologic profiles in elite cross-country skiers, which may indicate a high probability of blood doping. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Samples were obtained as part of routine International Ski Federation blood testing procedures from participants at the World Ski Championships. Sixty-eight percent of all skiers and 92% of those finishing in the top 10 places were tested. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Using flow cytometry, we analyzed erythrocyte and reticulocyte indices. Reference values were from the 1989 Nordic Ski World Championships data set and the International Olympic Committee Erythropoietin 2000 project. RESULTS: Of the skiers tested and finishing within the top 50 places in the competitions, 17% had "highly abnormal" hematologic profiles, 19% had "abnormal" values, and 64% were normal. Fifty percent of medal winners and 33% of those finishing from 4th to 10th place had highly abnormal hematologic profiles. In contrast, only 3% of skiers finishing from 41st to 50th place had highly abnormal values. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that blood doping is both prevalent and effective in cross-country ski racing, and current testing programs for blood doping are ineffective. It is unlikely that blood doping is less common in other endurance sports. Ramifications of doping affect not only elite athletes who may feel compelled to risk their health but also the general population, particularly young people.
Declining haemoglobin concentrations are accepted in order to avoid allogeneic blood transfusions in surgical patients. A questionnaire was sent to all members of the Norwegian Association of Anaesthesiologists addressing the question of safe blood levels of haemoglobin in different patient groups, and the different blood conservation techniques used in their hospital. 206 questionnaires (49%) were returned. Intraoperative and postoperative autotransfusions were the two most frequently used methods of saving blood. The survey demonstrates a wide diversity in the accepted lower haemoglobin levels, especially in children, and in spite of its limitations sheds light on Norwegian anaesthetists' routines as regards the indications for blood transfusion and blood conservation in the perioperative period.
The aim of this study was to characterize Kenyan runners in regard to their oxygen uptake and blood and ammonia responses when running. Untrained Kenyan boys (14.2 +/- 0.2 years) and Scandinavian runners were included for comparison. The studies were performed at altitude (approximately 2.000 m.a.s.l.) and, for several Kenyan and Scandinavian runners, at sea level as well. At altitude sedentary adolescent Kenyan boys had a mean maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) of 47 (44-51) ml.kg-1.min-1, whereas similarly aged boys regularly walking or running but not training for competition reached above 62 (58-71) ml.kg-1.min-1 in VO2max. Kenyan runners in active training had 68 +/- 1.4 ml.kg-1.min-1 at altitude and 79.9 +/- 1.4 ml.kg-1.min-1 at sea level, with individuals reaching 85 ml.kg-1.min-1. The best Scandinavian runners were not significantly different from the Kenyan runners in VO2max both at altitude and at sea level, but none of the Scandinavians reached as high individual values as observed for some Kenyan runners. The running efficiency, determined as the oxygen cost at a given running speed, was less in the Kenyan runners, and the difference became more pronounced when body weight was expressed in ml.kg-0.75 min-1. Blood lactate concentration was in general lower in the Kenyan than in the Scandinavian runners, and the Kenyans also had extremely low ammonia accumulation in the blood even at very high exercise intensities. It is concluded that it is the physical activity during childhood, combined with intense training as teenagers that brings about the high VO2max observed in some Kenyan runners. Their high aerobic capacity, as well as their good running economy, makes them such superior runners. In addition, their low blood lactate and ammonia accumulation in blood when running may also be contributing factors.
Screening for haemoglobin (Hb) and s-ferritin, in 176 of all 189 (93%) pupils at 8th grade (14-15-years-old) in one Norwegian community was performed in order to map the prevalence of anaemia and depleted iron stores. In order to determine the clinical significance of the findings, a questionnaire aimed at detecting symptoms or risk factors for iron deficiency was completed by all participants, and a 3 mo therapeutic trial with iron was offered to subjects with s-ferritin values below 15 microg/l. Four percent of girls and 8% of boys were anaemic according to WHO cut-off levels. S-ferritin
the impact of anaemia on the outcome after a hip fracture surgery is controversial, but anaemia can potentially decrease the physical performance and thereby impede post-operative rehabilitation. We therefore conducted a prospective study to establish whether anaemia affected functional mobility in the early post-operative phase after a hip fracture surgery.
four hundred and eighty seven consecutive hip fracture patients, treated according to a well-defined multimodal rehabilitation programme with a uniform, liberal transfusion threshold, were studied. Hb was measured on each of the first three post-operative days, and anaemia defined as Hb
To assess pregnancy outcome in women with anaemia during pregnancy.
The study design involved a retrospective chart review of all women registering for prenatal care in the area of Kuopio University Hospital between 1990 and 2000. A haemoglobin concentration below 100g/l was used as a cutoff for anaemia and affected women (N=597) were stratified by the trimester at which anaemia was diagnosed. Multiple regression analysis was used to compare obstetric outcomes in the study groups and in non-anaemic women (N=22,202).
The frequency of anaemia was 2.6%, with 0.3% occurring in the first trimester. After controlling for confounding factors, anaemia detected in the first trimester was associated with low-birth-weight infants (OR=3.14, 95% CI: 1.35-7.28) whereas the mid- and third-trimester anaemia groups showed no significantly different outcomes when compared with the non-anaemic women. First trimester anaemia was not significantly associated with small birth weight for gestational age (OR=0.98, 95% CI: 0.41-2.17) or with premature delivery
The results of a retrospective study of routine measurement of haemoglobin at the examination of one-year-old children at Grøland mother and child clinic during 1989-91 showed that 37% of the children had anaemia. There was no difference between immigrants and the European population. There was no correlation between anaemia and sex in either of the population groups. This may imply that routine haemoglobin measurement should be generally introduced as part of the regular control of one-year-old children.