Why do women live longer than men? Study finds key to premature male death in the heart
Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Researchers from the university have discovered the loss of a sex chromosome could be the reason why men die earlier than women.
They say the loss of this chromosome causes the heart muscle to scar and leads to heart failure.
Speaking about the research Kenneth Walsh of the University of Virginia said: “Particularly past age 60, men die more rapidly than women. It’s as if they biologically age more quickly.”
Walsh says the research conducted by his university suggests men could benefit from taking a drug which targets the scarring caused by the loss of this chromosome.
Walsh described the years of life lost by men as a result of premature death as “staggering”.
Just like in the UK, women in the US tend to live longer than men.
As well as causing heart failure, the loss of the Y chromosome can lead to the development of a common neurological condition.
Previous research has suggested that men who lose the Y chromosome are at greater risk of developing the most common form of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the UK’s most prevalent killers and forms part of dementia’s deadly neurodegenerative umbrella.
Dementia is one of the UK’s biggest killers.
On average the disease results in the deaths of around 67,000 people; the same as a large football stadium.
Sport and dementia have recently re-entered the news spotlight after former Wales Captain Ryan Jones announced he had the condition.
Jones, 41, announced he had been diagnosed with the neurodegenerative condition on Monday morning.
The player, who has joined legal action against rugby’s governing body, said he felt like his world was “falling apart”.
He said: “I don’t know what the future holds. I am a product of an environment that is all about process and human performance. I’m not able to perform like I could.”
The diagnosis which has befallen Jones is a tragedy, a tackle from which no player or patient can recover from.
It is also not likely to be the first.
The legal action which he joins is one which includes other former players who are slowly being killed from diseases which developed out of their experiences and successes playing a game they loved.
In a bid to reduce the risk of future cases, other sports are also taking action.
The FA has begun the process of removing heading from the game, beginning with a trial ban for U-12s starting from the beginning of the 2022 season.
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