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Hemoglobin levels and step test performance of men and women in Nepal.

Panter-Brick, C. and Miller, D. G. and Eggerman, M. (1992) 'Hemoglobin levels and step test performance of men and women in Nepal.', American journal of human biology., 4 (4). pp. 481-491.


The impact of low hemoglobin levels on the work performance of 74 rural Nepali villagers was examined with a 3 minute exercise step test. Work output was standardized at 75 watts for men and 55 watts for women. Hemoglobin values ranged from 4.2-15.7 g/dl, and averaged 12.0 ± 2.7 g/dl for 35 men and 10.9 ± 1.72 g/dl for 39 women. Low hemoglobin levels significantly elevated the heart rates and recovery times of the men, but not of the women. A positive relationship with oxygen uptake and a negative one with net mechanical efficiency was found for men but not for women (anemic men appeared more efficient as they used up marginally less oxygen during exercise). Values are in good agreement with those recently published for Gurkha soldiers, but are at variance with those examining the step test performance of Nepali women. In the light of behavioral data on work patterns, mild anemia may have little impact on the performance of moderate self-paced physical activity. Nepali villagers pause frequently during the course of subsistence activities, a behavior which allows time for recovery from an elevated pulse rate.

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Record Created:23 Sep 2008
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:38

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