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Do elite 'power sport' athletes have a genetic advantage?
Date:9/25/2013

Philadelphia, Pa. (September 25, 2013) - A specific gene variant is more frequent among elite athletes in power sports, reports a study in the October issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, official research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

A "functional polymorphism" of the angiotensiogen (AGT) gene is two to three times more common in elite power athletes, compared to nonathletes or even elite endurance athletes, according to the new research by Paweł Cięszczyk, PhD, of University of Szczecin, Poland, and colleagues. They write, "[T]he M23T variant in the AGT may be one of the genetic markers to investigate when an assessment of predisposition to power sports is made."

Gene Variant More Common in Elite Power Athletes

The researchers analyzed DNA samples from two groups of elite Polish athletes: 100 power-oriented athletes, from sports such as power-lifting, short-distance runners, and jumpers; and 123 endurance athletes, such as long-distance runners and swimmers and rowers. All athletes competed at the international leveleg, World and European Championships, World Cups, or Olympic Games. A group of 344 nonathletes were studied for comparison.

The analysis focused on the genotype of the M235T polymorphism of the gene AGT. "Polymorphisms" are genes that can appear in two different forms (alleles). A previous study found that the "C" allele of the AGT gene (as opposed to the "T" allele) was more frequent among elite athletes in power sports.

The genetic tests found that elite power athletes were more likely to have two copies of the C allelein other words, they
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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