Research carried out by scientists at the University of Leicester has discovered a hereditary risk which up to 20 percent of men may carry in the UK in regard to the development of coronary heart disease.
The study, published in the Lancet, was based on the genetic testing of more than 3,000 men and revealed that 90 per cent of those suffering from coronary heart disease had one of two versions of the Y chromosome - known as haplogroup I and haplogroup R1b1b2 - which led to a 50 percent increase in the risk of them developing the disease.
Dr Maciej Tomaszewski, a clinical senior lecturer at the university's Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, said: "Doctors usually associated the Y chromosome with maleness and fertility, but this shows it is also implicated in heart disease."
Coronary heart disease affects approximately 2.6 million people across the UK and causes 94,000 deaths in the UK each year. It is the country's biggest killer and therefore furthering the understanding of risk factors in the development of this illness is extremely important.See all the latest jobs in Science