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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 578-585

Pre-cancerous (DNA and chromosomal) lesions in professional sports

Department of Human Genetics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Radhika Sharma
Department of Human Genetics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar - 143 005, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.106544

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Context: Exhaustive exercises may become detrimental, causing disturbance of intracellular oxidant-antioxidant balance and damage to macromolecules, leading to genomic instability when DNA/chromosomes get damaged. As these are precancerous lesions, cancer occurrence is probable. Because professional sports requires high-intensity training and increasing physical demand, there may occur cellular genomic instability. Aim: To evaluate genetic damage at DNA and chromosomal levels in hockey and baseball-soft ball players and compare with levels in age- and sex-matched sedentary controls. Setting and Design: Players professionally active in their sport from 3 to 11 years on a daily training session of 4h/day were contacted during their camps, and the study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee. All participants were healthy individuals, not on any medication and were not taking any supplements. Materials and Methods: Genetic damage using the single cell gel electrophoresis assay and buccal micronucleus cytome assay of 56 individuals (36 players and 20 controls) was evaluated. Statistical Analysis Used: Student's t -test, ANOVA, Pearson correlation and linear regression and Chi-square analysis were performed. Results: Players had significantly elevated levels of genetic damage. There were no gender differences and also no significant difference in the genetic damage incurred in both sports types. However, the extent of DNA migration in hockey players was higher. Conclusion: Significantly increased genomic instability in players of both sports was observed. Both repaired and repairable genetic damage cells were observed in different tissues of the same subject. The presence of such genetic damage implies that these players are at an individual risk from cancer- and age-related diseases.

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