February 22, 2012

Possible Genetic Birth Defects in Children of Older Men

Filed under: birth defect — robertprice @ 8:58 pm

genetic disease in childrenIf you’re a middle aged male concerned about maximizing your future child’s health, you may want to think twice about dosing off to sleep versus staying awake to your own biological imperative.

New Dutch research is showing that men who snooze might be losing some of their child’s genetic material to possible genetic birth defects. These findings are based on 118 children whose genome, or genetic code, that were analyzed at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands.

Lead researcher, Jayne Hehir-Kwa explained, “We were looking at a specific form of genetic mutation which we find in some children with an intellectual disability.” In other words, diseases that are genetic.

In the cases in question, both of the parents of the child are healthy (genetically), but the child is born with missing, repeated, inverted or misplaced DNA sequences.

DNA is packed into 23 pairs of chromosomes. Half of the genetic material comes from the father, and half from the mother.

Researchers were concerned with genetic disease in children, trying to determine which parent bore responsibility for the defective DNA. “We found there was a strong bias towards the father’s DNA,” said Dr. Hehir-Kwa.

The results of the study were statistically significant: 90 out of the 118 children with the genetic birth defects were links to the fathers. The older the male, the higher the assumed risk for fathering a child born with as genetic birth defect.

Earlier research has also suggested that older men may be at higher risk for not only developing some sort of genetic disease in children, but also developing other diseases like schizophrenia. However, “this is the first study linking these genetic mutations for intellectual disability to the father’s age,” said Dr. Hehir-Kwa.

The findings were published in the Journal of Medical Genetics, and Hehir-Kwa suspects the problem arises from faulty sperm production in the older men. This causes the subsequent genetic birth defects.

The results of the study should not be taken to represent one of the major causes of genetic diseases in children. Intellectual disabilities occur at a rate of 1 per cent of births, and “the [genetic] variants we looked explain 10 percent of that 1 per cent,” Hehir-Kwa said.

Preborn children are extremely susceptible to a myriad of environmental factors which can have long term effects. In an other study a correlation between smoking while pregnant and an increased risk of becoming a criminal was explored.

With the above in mind: life is short, and full of dangers to your child. In the case of having healthy children, it seems to make sense to ‘live for the moment’ as opposed to the future. A man thereby inflates his chances to a rigid assurance that he is not endangering their child’s genetic opportunities. In other words, men, if she’s not in the mood, show her this article.

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February 14, 2012

The Causes of Heart Disease In Men: Being Short?

Filed under: heart disease — robertprice @ 6:43 pm

Causes of Heart Disease in MenThere may be more to the causes of heart disease in men than the commonly accepted culprits like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. A new study of 22,000 male doctors suggests.

Dr. Luc Djousse of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and his colleagues found that the taller men were, the lower their chance of developing congestive heart failure.

After responding to an initial questionnaire that asked about their height, weight, and health conditions, men filled out follow-up surveys which asked about new medical diagnosis each year. The report includes information from an average of 22 years of that previously described follow-up, during which 1,444 men, or about seven percent, developed congestive heart failure—that is, when the heart is not strong enough to pump blood out to the rest of the body, or when the heart does not fully relax after each beat.

The tallest men in the study, those over six feet, were 24 percent less likely to report a heart failure diagnosis during the study period than men who were five feet, eight inches, or shorter. This observation was made after the men’s age and weight, as well as whether or not they had high blood pressure or diabetes, had been taken into account.

This certainly does not mean, or should be taken to suggest that a few extra inches of height protects against heart disease in men, or that shorter men are decidedly doomed.

It is important to note that even with those considerations, the study can’t prove that something else wasn’t behind the relationship between height and heart failure risk, according to Jeffery Teuteberg, a cardiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who was not involved in the study.
“From a day-to-day consideration, it’s not something we take into a big consideration when we’re thinking about risk.”

Dr. Claudia Langenberg, from University College London, thinks that “height” on its own may, in fact, point towards other factors. She told Reuters Health in an email that “despite its strong genetic determination, height is very sensitive to the influence of socio-economic influences on growth.”

In other words, while doctors usually end up in the same income bracket, the income bracket they grew up in could have a correlation here. Height could point towards a more privileged and healthy early life than some of the shorter doctors.

Djousse also suggested that childhood infections could both stunt growth and ultimately lead to plaque build-up in the arteries and high blood pressure, which is tied to heart failure.

“As much as we know about the development of very common diseases like heart failure, there’s still a lot we don’t know. All of the traditional risk factors we think of — there’s still a lot more that impacts the development of those diseases beyond those things,” Teuteberg stated.

It certainly seems possible to suggest that height, itself, does belong on the list of possible causes for a heart attack, but researchers agreed that, at the very least, the things should not concern or relieve anyone based on their height.

Teuteberg states: “This (finding) may lead to something much more interesting down the line.”

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