New research provides yet another reason to quit smoking.
A scientific analysis of 6,000 men showed a propensity for those who smoked to lose their Y chromosome. That’s bad news, according to the Swedish team that conducted the trial.
“If cancer, heart disease, and emphysema weren’t bad enough, male smokers may have another thing to worry about: losing their Y chromosomes,” Gunjan Sinha writes on the American Association for the Advancement of Science Web site. “Researchers have found that smokers are up to four times more likely to have blood cells with no Y chromosome than nonsmokers.”
The findings were published in the association’s journal Science, which quipped that men should beware if smoke gets in their Ys.
“…men who smoke are more than three times as likely as nonsmokers to show loss of the Y chromosome in their blood cells,” according to a summary of the study.
Men carry an X and a Y chromosome, while women carry two Xs. Lead researcher Lars Forsberg, of Uppsala University, said the Y chromosome is important in fighting cancer.
“This discovery could be very persuasive for motivating smokers to quit,” Forsberg said.
The team’s Y-chromosome research led to the formation of a company called CRAY Innovation. CRAY is an acronym for Cancer Risk Assessment from loss of chromosome Y. Its mission is to analyze and interpret loss-of-chromosome-Y (LOY) research and establish it as a clinical marker.