Researchers have linked a set of genes to a higher risk of heart attack and heart disease for men, London’s Daily Mail reported.
A study from Leicester University in Britain found that a man’s risk of coronary heart disease is 55 percent greater if they carry the I-haplogroup in their Y chromosome – the area of DNA men inherit from their fathers.
The presence of the I-haplogroup, which is most common in parts of Europe, could explain why one in four men die from heart disease, compared to one in six women.
But researchers said it’s still unclear whether this plays a bigger role than other factors like lifestyle.
“We set out to determine if men with differing types of Y chromosomes were at differing risk of heart disease,” said Nilesh Samani, professor of cardiology at Leicester University.
They tested nearly 3,000 British men to compare those with the I-haplogroup variant to those without it. They found that traditional risk factors like high blood pressure and smoking didn’t explain the greater risk of heart disease in those with the variant.
The study was released at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Stockholm.
“We are a long way off being able to judge the potency of this genetic effect. This will not be a test you can get in the near future,” said Peter Weissberg, professor and medical director of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the study.