Truth Frequency Radio
Dec 08, 2014

atlanta.cbslocal.com_2014-12-08_10-49-18ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – A new study has found that men who smoke cigarettes have missing male chromosomes.

Researchers found that men who smoke lose the Y chromosome in blood cells more frequently than nonsmokers and the heavier they smoke, the fewer Y chromosomes they have, Live Science reported.

“The cells that lose the Y chromosome … They don’t die,” study co-author Lars Forsberg, of the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University in Sweden, told Live Science. “But we think that they would have a disrupted biological function.”

Researchers also found that the Y chromosome loss could explain why male smokers are at a higher risk of cancer than female smokers. Forsberg added that the immune cells in the blood that are tasked with fighting cancer may be hampered without their Y chromosome.

For men, the Y chromosome is one of two sex-determining chromosomes in men and women have two X chromosomes. Forsberg stated that during cell division, normally copies of all of the chromosomes are made and sorted into the two new daughter cells, but that during the complex process, sometimes chromosomes are lost.

Y chromosomes can vanish and scientists have known that for more than 50 years, Forsberg stated. Missing Y chromosomes are more common in older men than in young men. Forsberg and his colleagues published finding in the journal Nature Genetics in April that revealed the loss of the Y chromosome in the blood cells is linked with an increased risk of cancer in men, Live Science reported.

Forsberg wanted to find out what factors lead men to lose their Y chromosomes. Researchers with his study gathered health data from a total of 6,000 men who were participating in three different ongoing epidemiological studies in Sweden. Exercise, blood pressure, alcohol use and smoking were factors that the men were questioned on. Men also gave blood samples so that researchers could test the prevalence of the Y chromosome in the blood.

Researchers found that it was very common for men in the study to be missing Y chromosomes from their cells.

The men in two of the studies ranged in age from 70 to 80 years old. Roughly 12.6 percent of men in the first group were missing Y chromosomes from their blood cells and in the second group 15.6 percent had lost the Y chromosomes.

In the third group of men who ranged in age from 48 to 93, only 7.5 percent were missing Y chromosomes. Researchers noted that the results from this group highlighted the effect of age. About 15.4 percent of men who were aged 70 and older were missing Y chromosomes compared with 4.1 percent of men younger than 70.

Researchers then compared participants on lifestyle and health factors and found that, other than age, only smoking was linked to the loss of the Y chromosome in men. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers had between 2.4 and 4.3 times the risk of losing Y chromosomes.

The study was published Dec. 4 in the journal Science.