Total haemoglobin mass (tHb-mass) is one of the most important factors contributing to aerobic performance. Its level strongly depends on body size, so it is usually expressed in relation to kg body mass (BM), but some studies in male endurance athletes have shown that lean body mass (LBM) is a more appropriate reference for expression of tHb-mass. The aim of this study was to determine relationships between tHb-mass and selected anthropometric reference parameters in a discipline with diverse body mass. 43 highly trained judokas (28 males and 15 females) underwent tHb-mass determination (optimised CO rebreathing method) and anthropometric evaluation (skinfold, body mass and height measurement) with estimation of lean body mass (LBM), and body surface area (BSA). Linear regression analysis between tHb-mass and anthropometric indices was performed, and Pearson's coefficients of correlation were calculated. Influence of gender on the tHb-mass/BM, /LBM and /BSA relationships was tested by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Gender differences in tHb-mass expressed in relation to this parameters were tested by Student's t-test (significance level p<0.05). BM values were in the range 59.8–169.0 kg in male judokas and 48.8–170.0 kg in females. In both groups, tHb-mass correlated with BM (r=0.82, r=0.92), LBM (r=0.86, r=0.96), and BSA (r=0.88, r=0.94) in male and female judokas, respectively. Mean values of tHb-mass in male and female athletes were 11.1±1.1 and 8.8±1.3 g/kg BM (p<0.0001), respectively. This difference was smaller, but still statistically significant when tHb-mass was divided by LBM (12.8±1.0 and 11.9±0.9 /kg LBM, p<0.01) or BSA (470±40 and 335±23 /m2; p<0.001). ANCOVA showed that gender has a significant influence on tHb-mass not only after normalisation for BM (p<0.001) but also for LBM (p<0.01) and BSA (p<0.001). Gender has a significant influence on tHb-mass even when expressed in relation to LBM or BSA, probably due to gender differences in the fraction of skeletal muscle mass in LBM.
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