A new study published in the journal The Lancet suggests that men may inherit the risk of heart disease from their fathers if they have a common genetic variation on the Y chromosome.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Leicester's Department of Cardiovascular Sciences who analyzed data from three different studies; the British Heart Foundation Family Heart Study, the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study and the Cardiogenics Study, which involved more than 3,000 men.
The researchers found that more than 90 percent of the men had two types of Y chromosomes, haplogroup I and haplogroup R1b1b2. Those who had Y chromosomes belonging to the haplogroup I had a 50 percent higher risk of suffering from heart disease compared to others.
The researchers said that more study was needed in order to determine specific genes and variants which increase the risk. "We are very excited about these findings as they put the Y chromosome on the map of genetic susceptibility to coronary artery disease. We wish to further analyze the human Y chromosome to find specific genes and variants that drive this association", lead researcher Dr Maciej Tomaszewski said.