Limited Effect of Y Chromosome Variation on Coronary Artery Disease and Mortality in UK Biobank

Paul R H J Timmers, James F Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The effect of genetic variation in the male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY) on coronary artery disease and cardiovascular risk factors has been disputed. In this study, we systematically assessed the association of MSY genetic variation on these traits using a kin-cohort analysis of family disease history in the largest sample to date.

METHODS: We tested 90 MSY haplogroups against coronary artery disease, hypertension, blood pressure, classical lipid levels, and all-cause mortality in up to 152 186 unrelated, genomically British individuals from UK Biobank. Unlike previous studies, we did not adjust for heritable lifestyle factors (to avoid collider bias) and instead adjusted for geographic variables and socioeconomic deprivation, given the link between MSY haplogroups and geography. For family history traits, subject MSY haplogroups were tested against father and mother disease as validation and negative control, respectively.

RESULTS: Our models find little evidence for an effect of any MSY haplogroup on cardiovascular risk in participants. Parental models confirm these findings.

CONCLUSIONS: Kin-cohort analysis of the Y chromosome uniquely allows for discoveries in subjects to be validated using family history data. Despite our large sample size, improved models, and parental validation, there is little evidence to suggest cardiovascular risk in UK Biobank is influenced by genetic variation in MSY.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1198-1206
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number9
Early online date14 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022


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