Loss of the Y chromosome linked to smoking, cancer, and higher mortality in men
the ONA take:
Researchers at Uppsala University demonstrate an association between smoking and loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells in their recent study.
In a previous study, these researchers linked loss of the Y chromosome to cancer. Combining these results could explain why men have a greater risk for smoking-related cancers and, in a broader context, an overall shorter life expectancy.
Smoking is a known risk factor for many diseases; in this study, the researchers discovered a link between smoking and genetic damage, such as loss of the Y chromosome. As only men have a Y chromosome, this might explain the sex difference in this risk, including a higher risk for cancers outside the respiratory tract in male smokers.
Two additional points revealed in the study are this association is dose dependent, ie, loss of the Y chromosome is more common in heavy smokers; and the association is valid only current smokers.
The frequency of cells with loss of the Y chromosome was found to be the same in men who were previously smokers but quit and men who never smoked.
Association between smoking and loss of the Y chromosome in blood cells in their recent study.
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