Objectives Athlete health, training continuity and performance can be impeded as a result of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Here we report the point prevalence of symptoms described by the RED-S model in a mixed-sport cohort of Australian female athletes. Methods Elite and pre-elite female athletes (n=112) from eight sports completed validated questionnaires and underwent clinical assessment to assess the point prevalence of RED-S symptoms. Questionnaires included the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Questionnaire (DASS-21), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), SCOFF questionnaire for disordered eating, Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q), and a custom questionnaire on injury and illness. Clinical assessment comprised resting metabolic rate (RMR) assessment, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived body composition and bone mineral density, venous and capillary blood samples, and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI 7.0.2). Descriptive prevalence statistics are presented. Results Almost all (80%) participants (age 19 (range 15-32) years; mass 69.5±10.3 kg; body fat 23.1%±5.0%) demonstrated at least one symptom consistent with RED-S, with 37% exhibiting between two and three symptoms. One participant demonstrated five symptoms. Impaired function of the immunological (28%, n=27), haematological (31%, n=33) and gastrointestinal (47%, n=51) systems were most prevalent. A moderate to high (11%-55%) prevalence of risk of low energy availability was identified via RMR and LEAF-Q, and identified mental illnesses were prevalent in one-third of the assessed cohort. Conclusion Symptoms described by the RED-S model were prevalent in this cohort, supporting the need for improved awareness, monitoring and management of these symptoms in this population.
Rogers, M. A., Appaneal, R. N., Hughes, D., Vlahovich, N., Waddington, G., Burke, L. M., & Drew, M. (2021). Prevalence of impaired physiological function consistent with Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S): An Australian elite and pre-elite cohort. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 55(1), 38–45. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2019-101517