Effects of genetic variability on running performance in professional runners
Keywords:Athlete, Elite, Genes, Performance, Running, Variation
Introduction: With the recent advancement in the field of genetics, researchers and general public are interested to know the effects of genetic variability on human body. A variety of studies can be found literature regarding the genetic variabilities on human body, however, there is a scarcity of data regarding systematic review on the topic. This review was conducted in order to systematically review the available literature on the effects of genetic variability on running performance in professional runners.
Material & Methods: A systematic review was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. The literature search was performed in different databases using the terms genes OR genetic (variation, variability, polymorphism) OR genomics AND running (performance, status, success) OR elite runners OR competitive running. Research articles published in English language from inception of medical literature to August 2019 that reported the effects of genetic variability on running performance were included. Those studies were excluded which reported association of gene mutations with genetic disorders. Reviews, commentaries, letter to editors and conference papers were excluded.
Results: Out of total 8 included studies, 5 were case control and 3 were cohort studies. Six articles showed association between genetic variability and running performance while 2 reported no association between genetic variability and running performance in professional runners. Three studies investigated 'I' and 'D' allele of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene, out of which two studies found association between 'D' allele of 'ACE' gene and running performance. Besides ACE, the included studies reported association between running performance and 'C' allele of aquaporin 1, Pro582 C allele of rs11549465 & 'A' allele of rs17099207 of HIF1A gene, bradykinin receptor B2, adrenergic receptor beta 2 & adenosine monophosphate deaminase 1 and Titin gene.
Conclusion: Genes such as 'ACE', 'HIF1A', aquaporin '1' and Titin may be associated with running performance in professional runners, however, there is limited evidence regarding it as only few articles have been published on this topic. Majority of the published articles are case control studies which clearly indicate a demand for conducting high quality research in this area.