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Y Chromosome Haplogroup T and Coronary Artery Disease

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: DaniellaNicole • updated: 2/28/2010

Y chromosome haplogroup T is a haplogroup in which people of African and Arabic decent are found. European and American men are also within this haplogroup. Those within this haplogroup are more vulnerable to developing coronary artery disease.

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    Y chromosome haplogroup T is a type of DNA found in African and Arabic people, as well as men of European and American decent. The Y chromosome is passed from a father to son. Men within this haplogroup are at an increased risk for developing coronary artery disease. It is also said that they are predisposed to asthenospermia, but this has been disputed and has yet to be proven.

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    Coronary Artery Disease

    Y chromosome haplogroup T coronary The coronary arteries are responsible for supplying the heart with nutrients, blood, and oxygen. When they are damaged or diseased, often due to plaque deposits building up which causes the coronary arteries to become narrowed, it leads to the heart receiving less of the nutrients, blood, and oxygen that it needs to function healthily. A complete blockage can cause a patient to have a heart attack and a partial blockage can lead to a variety of uncomfortable and frightening symptoms. Many patients do not know they have this disease until a heart attack occurs because it develops slowly, often over decades, and many patients do not experience symptoms until it is too late.

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    Symptoms

    Once the arteries become narrowed and plaque begins to build up, patients may begin to experience symptoms. These include chest pain and shortness of breath. Eventually, patients who do not seek treatment for this condition can experience a heart attack.

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    Diagnosis

    To begin the diagnosis, the doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, and have the patient undergo routine blood testing. After this, the doctor may recommend the patient undergo diagnostic testing. The diagnostic tests can include an electrocardiogram, a stress test, an echocardiogram, a coronary catheterization, a magnetic resonance angiogram, or a CT scan.

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    Treatment

    For most patients, treatment will involve lifestyle changes, and sometimes medications. Lifestyle changes include quitting smoking, exercising regularly, reducing stress, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and losing all excess weight. Medications that may be prescribed include cholesterol-modifying medications, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, aspirin, nitroglycerin, and calcium channel blockers. In some cases, surgical procedures may be necessary to improve, or sometimes even restore, blood flow. These include angioplasty and stent placement and coronary artery bypass surgery.

    Patients with a cultural background associated with Y chromosome haplogroup T should be aware of their increased risk of coronary artery disease. They should avoid the risk factors and make sure to get an annual physical to help minimize the risk of developing this disease, or the risk of heart attack if they do develop it.

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    Resources

    Mayo Clinic. (2009). Coronary Artery Disease. Retrieved on January 28, 2010 from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/coronary-artery-disease/DS00064

    Genome Research. (2008). Scientists Reshape Y Chromosome Haplogroup Tree Gaining New Insights Into Human Ancestry. Retrieved on January 28, 2010 from Genome Research: http://genome.cshlp.org/site/press/Ychromohaplogroup.xhtml

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    Image Credits

    Coronary Artery Lesion: Patrick J. Lynch – Wikimedia Commons