Association of hematological variables with team-sport specific fitness performance

Franck Brocherie, Grégoire P. Millet, Anna Hauser, Thomas Steiner, Jon P. Wehrlin, Julien Rysman, Olivier Girard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We investigated association of hematological variables with specific fitness performance in elite team-sport players. Methods: Hemoglobin mass (Hbmass) was measured in 25 elite field hockey players using the optimized (2 min) CO-rebreathing method. Hemoglobin concentration ([Hb]), hematocrit and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were analyzed in venous blood. Fitness performance evaluation included a repeated-sprint ability (RSA) test (8 x 20 m sprints, 20 s of rest) and the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 2 (YYIR2). Results: Hbmass was largely correlated (r = 0.62, P<0.01) with YYIR2 total distance covered (YYIR2TD) but not with any RSA-derived parameters (r ranging from -0.06 to -0.32; all P<0.05). [Hb] and MCHC displayed moderate correlations with both YYIR2TD (r = 0.44 and 0.41; both P<0.01) and RSA sprint decrement score (r = -0.41 and -0.44; both P<0.05). YYIR2TD correlated with RSA best and total sprint times (r = -0.46, P<0.05 and -0.60, P<0.01; respectively), but not with RSA sprint decrement score (r = -0.19, P<0.05). Conclusion: Hbmass is positively correlated with specific aerobic fitness, but not with RSA, in elite teamsport players. Additionally, the negative relationships between YYIR2 and RSA tests performance imply that different hematological mechanisms may be at play. Overall, these results indicate that these two fitness tests should not be used interchangeably as they reflect different hematological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0144446
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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