It has already been proven that women live longer than men, but why? A new medical study answers the question and explains why the average life expectancy of men is shorter than that of women.
This is due to gradual loss of Y chromosome in male cells. This was reported in a medical study published in the journal Science. According to research, the gradual loss of the Y chromosome with aging causes damage to the heart in men and increases the risk of fatal heart failure. Men die more than women after age 60, because they genetically age faster, the researchers said.
This new study explains why the average lifespan of men is shorter than that of women. All humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, 22 of which are the same in males and females. Apart from this, females have a pair of 2 X chromosomes while males have a pair based on one Y and one X chromosome. But with age, some cells in men lose the Y chromosome, especially in cells that are constantly changing, such as blood cells.
Previous research has suggested a link between Y chromosome loss, age-related diseases and mortality, but the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated. For this purpose, the experts involved in this new research used CRISPR gene editing technology to remove the Y chromosome from the bone marrow cells of male mice, after which the production of white blood cells lacking the Y chromosome began.
Some of these cells reached the mice’s hearts and triggered a mechanism. This mechanism caused damage to heart tissue and a gradual decline in heart function, causing the male rats to die early during the study. Heart tissue is damaged with aging and accounts for 45 percent of deaths in developed countries, the researchers said. He further said that the experiment indicates that the loss of Y chromosome is the cause of early death of males compared to females.
To apply these findings to humans, the researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank and found that missing the Y chromosome is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and death. But when the mice were treated with an antibody that blocked the activity of white blood cells, heart function began to improve again, he said. This raises the possibility that drugs can be developed to treat the problem, he said.