Effect of ACTN3 R577X Genotype on Injury Epidemiology in Elite Endurance Runners´.
Abstract: The p.R577X polymorphism (rs1815739) in the ACTN3 gene causes individuals with the ACTN3 XX genotype to be deficient in functional α-actinin-3. Previous investigations have found that XX athletes are more prone to suffer non-contact muscle injuries. This investigation aimed to determine the influence of the ACTN3 R577X polymorphism in the injury epidemiology of elite endurance athletes. Using a cross-sectional experiment, the epidemiology of running-related injuries was recorded for one season in a group of 89 Spanish elite endurance runners. ACTN3 R577X genotype was obtained for each athlete using genomic DNA samples. From the study sample, 42.7% of athletes had the RR genotype, 39.3% had the RX genotype, and 18.0% had the XX genotype. A total of 96 injuries were recorded in 57 athletes. Injury incidence was higher in RR runners (3.2 injuries/1000 h of running) than in RX (2.0 injuries/1000 h) and XX (2.2 injuries/1000 h; p = 0.030) runners. RR runners had a higher proportion of injuries located in the Achilles tendon, RX runners had a higher proportion of injuries located in the knee, and XX runners had a higher proportion of injuries located in the groin (p = 0.025). The ACTN3 genotype did not affect the mode of onset, the severity, or the type of injury. The ACTN3 genotype slightly affected the injury epidemiology of elite endurance athletes with a higher injury rate in RR athletes and differences in injury location. However, elite ACTN3 XX endurance runners were not more prone to muscle-type injuries.
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