Examination of Body Mass Changes Among Division I Collegiate Football Players With Sickle Cell Trait
American football athletes are frequently hypohydrated before and during activity. Hypohydration increases the risk of exertional sickling in student-athletes with sickle cell trait (SCT). The authors examined weight charts from the 2010/2011 to 2018/2019 seasons at one Division I institution to determine if differences in percentage body mass losses (%BML) exist between those with and without SCT. Seventeen student-athletes with SCT and 17 matched-controls were included. A Bonferroni correction was applied to account for multiple comparisons (0.05/8), resulting in p < .006 considered significant. There was a significant difference for %BML between groups (SCT: 0.84 ± 0.65% vs. control: 1.21 ± 0.71%; p = .002) but not for the number of days %BML exceeded 2% (SCT: 0 ± 1 vs. control: 1 ± 1; p = .016). Implementation of proper hydration strategies minimized %BML in athletes with SCT, decreasing the risk of hypohydration and exertional sickling. The same strategies ensured all players remained below threshold to optimize performance and reduce heat illness risk.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
Hirschhorn, R. M., Gilbert, J. L., Cadet, D. A., Murphy, T. E., Haggard, C., Rosehart, S., & Yeargin, S. W. (2021). Examination of Body Mass Changes Among Division I Collegiate Football Players With Sickle Cell Trait. International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijatt.2020-0075