Heart Disease and the Y Chromosome
Posted on February 09 2012
A university study in England has led researchers to the conclusion that there may be a correlation between heart disease and the Y chromosome. A gene has been identified that is present in 1 in 5 men that puts them at greater risk for heart disease. This study, partially funded by the British Heart Foundation, examined over 3,000 cases over the last four years before releasing their findings.
The chromosome grouping that has been identified as linking heart disease and the Y chromosome is called the haplogroup I. Research is showing that this characteristic in men influences the immune system and inflammatory response leading to increased susceptibility. These individuals showed a greater risk of cardiovascular disease independent of other factors such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking.
Researchers caution that this parallel between heart disease and the Y chromosome does not negate concerns such as diet and lifestyle choice as these are also factors, but indicates a predefined genetic disposition. Men are still encouraged to maintain regular medical visits and a healthy lifestyle to lower risk of cardiac related illness.
Earlier identification of this genetic marker provides medical professionals with an early warning sign to begin earlier monitoring and treatment. It is believed that additional treatment options may be developed based on this information to lower risk for affected individuals. With additional research, physicians will be able to use the link between heart disease and the Y chromosome to identify risk early and develop newer and more effective treatment options.
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