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Medicina dello Sport 2016 March;69(1):1-12


language: English, Italian

The relative contributions of ACE genotypes on personality traits in Tunisian athletes

Hela ZNAZEN 1-3, Aouatef MEJRI 4, Mokhtar CHTARA 2, 3, Walid BRIKI 5, Sarra HAMMOUDI NASSIB 2, 3, Marina BUTOVSKAYA 7, Oleg E. LAZEBNY 8, Hajer SIALA 4, Taieb MESSAOUD 4, Karim CHAMARI 6, Nizar SOUISSI 2, 3

1 Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, University of Garthage, Jarzouna, Bizerte, Tunisia; 2 Tunisian Research Laboratory “Sports Performance Optimization” National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia; 3 Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Ksar Saïd, Univercity of Manouba, Manouba, Tunisia; 4 Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Children Hospital Bechir Hamza of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia; 5 Qatar University, College of Arts and Sciences, Sport Science Program, Doha, Qatar; 6 Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, ASPETAR Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar; 7 Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; 8 Kol’tsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia


BACKGROUND: The present study attempted to test whether the ACE genotypes can be associated with particular personality traits that can be potentially used as predictors of athletic performance. Eighty seven track and field athletes (47 males, 40 females; aged 20.55±2.22) competing at an international level, voluntarily participated in this study. The athletes were prospectively classified into two groups according to their genetic polymorphism to physical efforts: endurance group (allele I, N.=48) and power group (allele D, N.=39). This genetic predisposition has been granted with athletes’ specialty.
METHODS: Personality trait was assessed before competition and the ACE gene polymorphism was examined by polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: The results revealed strong relationships between score performances and psychological constructs. Using allele I (related to the endurance), calmness explained 31% of the variance, and when sociability was added to the equation, 43% of the variance of score performance was further explained. On the other hand, nervousness explained 23% of the variance using allele D (related to the power), and when aggressiveness was added to the equation, 34% of the variance of score performance was then explained.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study is the first to interpret the relationship between the ACE gene and personality traits and has provided evidence that the distance runners and power athletes exhibited different personality profiles associated with their ACE I/D polymorphism predisposition.

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