Especially after the age of 60, men die faster than women. As if they are aging faster biologically – says prof. Kenneth Walsh of the University of Virginia. In his research, a possible cause of this phenomenon was found: the gradual loss of the male Y chromosome, which can lead to fibrosis of the heart tissues and earlier death.
The latest discovery of scientists from the US University of Virginia was published in Science, and on Friday described by the British Sky News. It may help answer the question why men tend to live shorter than women. – Especially after the age of 60, men die faster than women. As if they are aging faster biologically – says the researcher, Prof. Kenneth Walsh of the University of Virginia.
The Y chromosome
New research suggests that it is related to the loss of the Y chromosome, which determines the male sex in most mammals, including humans. Chromosomes are bundles of DNA that occur in pairs in each of our cells. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.
Scientists conducting genetic studies in mice found that the loss of the Y chromosome accelerated age-related diseases and made the mice more susceptible to fibrosis of the heart tissue leading to organ failure and premature death.
The team in which prof. Welsh then looked at the effects of loss of the Y chromosome in humans. By conducting three data analyzes, they found that the loss of this chromosome is directly related to cardiovascular disease and heart failure. Thus, according to the researchers, loss of the Y chromosome could lead to an earlier death in men.
Longer life for men
Research studies have previously concluded that men who suffer from loss of the Y chromosome are more likely to die at an earlier age and suffer from aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is believed that only new research provides the first hard evidence that loss of the Y chromosome has direct, detrimental effects on men’s health, Sky News emphasizes.
It is estimated that about 40 percent of 70-year-olds are affected by the loss of this chromosome. A recent finding suggests that understanding the effects of a Y chromosome loss could help men live longer and healthier lives. According to prof. Kenneth Welsh’s help in counteracting the harmful effects of the loss of the Y chromosome can be, for example, Pirfenidone – a drug so far used, inter alia, in the treatment of fibrotic conditions in the lungs.
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