Elite athletes have longer telomeres than sedentary subjects: A meta-analysis.

Author: Abrahin O1, Cortinhas-Alves EA2, Vieira RP3, Guerreiro JF4
1Universidade Federal do Pará - UFPA, Pós-Graduação em Genética e Biologia Molecular, Rua Augusto Corrêa 1, Belém 66075-110, PA, Brazil. Electronic address: odilonsalim@hotmail.com.
2Universidade do Estado do Pará - UEPA, Laboratório de Bioquímica do Exercício, Travessa Perebebuí 2623, Belém 66087-310, PA, Brazil.
3Universidade Brasil, Post-graduation Program in Bioengineering and in Biomedical Engineering, Rua Carolina Fonseca 235, São Paulo 08230-030, SP, Brazil; Brazilian Institute of Teaching and Research in Pulmonary and Exercise Immunology (IBEPIPE), Rua Pedro Ernesto 240, São José dos Campos 12245-520, SP, Brazil; Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Post-graduation Program in Sciences of Human Movement and Rehabilitation, Avenida Ana Costa 95, Santos 11060-001, SP, Brazil; University Anhembi Morumbi, School of Medicine, Avenida Benedito Deputado Benedito Matarazzo 4050, São José dos Campos 12230-002, SP, Brazil.
4Universidade Federal do Pará - UFPA, Pós-Graduação em Genética e Biologia Molecular, Rua Augusto Corrêa 1, Belém 66075-110, PA, Brazil.
Conference/Journal: Exp Gerontol.
Date published: 2019 Feb 6
Other: Pages: S0531-5565(18)30645-4 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2019.01.023. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 166

The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effects of high levels of physical activity (in elite athletes) and sedentary lifestyle on telomere length. Our meta-analysis was carried out using the following electronic databases: PubMed, Cochrane Library, LILACS, Science Direct and EBSCO. After study selection, nine articles were included in our meta-analysis. All of the included subjects were elite athletes (with experience in national or international competitions) or sedentary subjects, which served as the control group. The analysis showed that elite athletes (n = 306) had longer telomeres (P = 0.001) compared with the control group (n = 322). The difference in the standardized means was 0.91 (95% CI = 0.43-1.33; I2 83.4% P value for heterogeneity = 0.001), favoring the athlete group. The analysis of the funnel plot did not detect any risk of publication bias in the studies that reported differences in means. Our results suggest that high level chronic physical training may provide protective effects on telomere length.

Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

KEYWORDS: Athlete; Meta-analysis; Physical activity; Sedentary; Telomere

PMID: 30735724 DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2019.01.023