Lack of Y chromosome may increase men’s risk of heart disease, study
VIRGINIA: As men age, the reduction of the Y chromosome in their blood cells may lead to poor heart function and death from heart disease, according to a new study.
Previous research has shown that, on average, men die several years earlier than women. Men’s immune system white blood cells gradually lose the Y chromosome, which increases their chances of developing diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
This new study, published in the journal Science, reported that people in whom these Y chromosomes are reduced are also more likely to die from heart disease. This is the most common cause of human death.
The study’s researchers, who also included researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, said that until now it was not known whether the loss of the Y chromosome in white blood cells was directly related to the development of disease in other organs.
Kenneth Wash of the University of Virginia, who is also a co-author of the study, said that the DNA of our cells inevitably undergoes changes as we age. This mutation involves the absence of a Y chromosome in males. This suggests that the body has a mosaic of certain changes that provide clues to age-related diseases and the aging process.