Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal:
International Journal of Sports Medicine
Size of study:
11 elite athletes and 10 healthy controls
In this study, researchers looked at the telomere lengths as well as other health parameters of a small group of elite sprinters in comparison with an age-matched group of healthy, non-athlete controls. The scientists found that the elite sprinters had longer telomeres, lower body fat and lower BMI, as well as a better lipid profile than the control group. In addition, within the elite sprinter group, they found that performance level was positively correlated with telomere length while performance decrease over the years was negatively correlated with telomere length. The study’s authors concluded that telomere length appears to be a biomarker of health and fitness status as well as a predictor of performance level. The study’s authors suggest a subsequent study to look at endurance athletes vs. the same group of elite sprinters.