Y chromosome loss from immune cells may cause heart disease


The Y chromosome, involved in sex determination, mysteriously disappears from some men’s immune cells as they get older – and that could be fatal


14 July 2022

A 3D representation of a Y sex chromosome

The Y chromosome is one of two sex chromosomes in humans


The immune cells of many older men lose their Y chromosomes, and this may contribute to men having a higher rate of heart disease than women.

Health risks from Y chromosome loss have long been suspected, but evidence from animals and people now adds more support to the idea – and may suggest a treatment for the damage caused to the heart.

DNA is packaged into chromosomes, with the cells of most men and transgender women carrying one X and one …

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