London: It`s been believed that men suffer more from cardiac problems than women. Now, scientists claim they have found a genetic clue to explain why males are morevulnerable when it comes to heart diseases. Researchers at the Leicester University found a clusterof significant genetic variations in the Y chromosome -- thearea of DNA men inherit from their fathers. The variation called l-haplogroup makes men 55 per centmore likely to develop coronary disease, they found. Researchers, however, said it was too early to tellwhether the gene has a greater effect on the health of theheart than factors such as smoking and high blood pressure. But, the findings may help doctors to develop moretreatments on a case by case basis, said Professor NileshSamani, who led the research. He said men may suffer through lacking the protectionthat younger women get from oestrogen. "We set out to determine if men with differing types of Ychromosome were at differing risk of heart disease," he wasquoted as saying by the Daily Mail. "We tested nearly 3,000 British males and found thosecarrying the l-haplogroup variant had a 55 per cent higherrisk of coronary heart disease." The difference was not explained by traditional factorssuch as cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking. The l-haplogroup variant is thought to have been broughtto Europe by arrivals from the Middle East some 25,000 yearsago. It is more common in northern Europe -- raisingspeculation that it might explain why heart disease rates arehigher in the UK than in Mediterranean countries. Peter Weissberg of British Heart Foundation said it wastoo early to know what impact the gene might have on heartdisease.
"We are a long way off being able to judge the potency ofthis genetic effect. This will not be a test you can get inthe near future," Professor Weissberg added. The new study was released at the European Society ofCardiology congress in Stockholm.PTI
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