Y chromosone health linked to cancer risk in men
New research focused on the male Y chromosome finds that men who had lost part of their Y chromosome died on average 5.5 years earlier than those who had not.
To conduct their study, scientists at the University of Sweden looked at blood tests in more than 1,000 men aged over 70 to determine Y chromosome loss. They found that men with a “significant amount” of loss died earlier and that loss of the Y chromosome was associated with general risk of death in 637 out of the group of men and risk of death due to non-blood related cancer in 132 of the cases.
The scientists note that many people think the Y chromosome only contains genes involved in sex determination and sperm production, but, as the new research shows, these genes have other important functions, such as possibly playing a role in preventing cancerous tumors. The findings also show that blood tests looking at the state of the Y chromosome could help predict a man's risk of cancer.
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