Loss of Y Chromosomes in Older Men Elevates Heart Disease Risk, Study Finds

July 21, 2022 09:23:43

A new study has found that older men losing the Y chromosome in their white blood cells as they age can heighten their risk of death from cardiovascular illnesses and cause severe heart problems. This genetic change, which is scientifically referred to as mosaic Loss of y or mLOY, impacts about 20% of men aged 60 and 40% of those aged 70 and above.

The study was carried out by researchers at Sweden’s Uppsala University and the University of Virginia. It was led by Professor Kenneth Walsh of the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia and Associate Professor Lars Forsberg of Uppsala’s Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.

Forsberg explained that this chromosome was lost during cell division and was common in organs and tissues with high rates of cell division, noting that replicated risk factors included smoking, age and genetic predisposition.

The objective of the study was to establish a causal link between the loss of the Y chromosome and impaired heart function, the development of fibrosis in the heart and death of men as a result of cardiovascular illnesses. Nonischemic heart failure, which is a form of heart failure that isn’t caused by blockages in arteries in the heart, is one of the heart diseases associated with mLOY.

For their study, the investigators used the CRISPR gene editing tool to extract the Y chromosome from white blood cells in mice. They found that this loss caused direct damage to the internal organs of these animals, noting that the animals with mLOY died younger in comparison to those who still had the chromosome.

In their report, the researchers explained that the loss of the Y chromosome in cardiac macrophages stimulated the TGF-β1 pathway, which in turn increased scarring of the heart. Cardiac macrophages are white blood cells found in the heart muscle. When the scientists blocked this signaling pathway, they discovered that the pathological changes caused by the Y chromosome’s loss could be reversed.

In their report, Forsberg explained that routinely testing for mLOY in blood cells may help prevent cardiovascular illnesses in aging males. He also added that routine testing for the loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells could help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Prior studies have found that the loss of the Y chromosome may also be linked to excessive fibrosis in the lungs and the kidneys. Researchers are currently focused on developing a genetic screening test that can evaluate mLOY risk. As those genetic tests are being developed, older people would be well advised to make use of the available technologies, such as those availed by Odyssey Health Inc. (OTC: ODYY), to monitor for cardiac complications so that treatment can be commenced without delay.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Odyssey Health Inc. (OTC: ODYY) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/ODYY

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