Accepted Manuscript - Gene (002).pdf (352.03 kB)
Elite swimmers possess shorter telomeres than recreationally active controls
journal contributionposted on 2020-11-16, 11:08 authored by Matt NickelsMatt Nickels, Sarabjit MastanaSarabjit Mastana, Matthew Denniff, Veryan Codd, Liz AkamLiz Akam
Purpose: Elite athletes are reported to possess longer telomeres than their less active counterparts. ACE gene (Insertion/Deletion) polymorphism has been previously associated with elite athletic performance, with the deletion (D) variant appearing more frequently in short distance swimmers. Additionally, the D allele has been reported to have a negative effect on telomere length. The aim of this study was to investigate the telomere length of elite swimmers and its potential association with ACE genotype. Methods: Telomere length was measured by real-time quantitative PCR and ACE I/D genotypes analysed by standard PCR and electrophoresis in 51 young elite swimmers and 56 controls. Results: Elite swimmers displayed shorter telomeres than controls (1.043 ± 0.127 vs 1.128 ± 0.177, p = 0.006). When split by sex, only elite female swimmers showed significantly shorter telomeres than their recreationally active counterparts (p = 0.019). ACE genotype distribution and allelic frequency did not differ between elite swimmers and controls, or by event distance among elite swimmers only. No association was observed between telomere length and ACE genotype in the whole cohort. Conclusions: Elite swimmers possessed shorter telomeres than recreationally active controls. Our findings suggesting a negative effect of high-level swimming competition and/or training on telomere length and subsequent biological aging, particularly in females. However, this significant difference in telomere length does not appear to be attributed to the D allele as we report a lack of association between telomere length and ACE genotype frequency in elite swimmers and controls.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)
Rights holder© Elsevier
Publisher statementThis paper was accepted for publication in the journal Gene and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2020.145242.