Parenthood And Heart Disease Could Be Related, According To This Study
Although the course of evolution has eradicated many life-threatening diseases out of the population, some genetic mutations persist. Many genetic mutations linked to the most prevalent form of heart disease in the United States, coronary artery disease, continue to affect people across the country.
This type of heart disease leaves sufferers with limited blood flow through the arteries, preventing the heart from receiving necessary amounts of blood and oxygen. This eventually results in a heart attack and it can be fatal.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of death in America, and researchers believe they now understand why these mutations continue to be passed down through generations.
Research has shown that individuals with the gene mutations that lead to coronary artery disease tend to have more children, which has allowed this condition to continue to affect Americans.
Scientists have collected genetic information from two major research databases and they also studied reproductive data to see how many children people with these genetic mutations end up having.
"We really wanted to understand why such a disease has persisted and is so prevalent, considering the health costs it has," stated the co-author of the study, Sean Byars. The study's findings were rather telling, and they showcase a distinct link between these genetic mutations and reproductive health.
The research revealed that both men and women that have the genetic mutations linked to CAD tend to have more children. Reproductive success in one's earlier years can lead to heart disease if these genetic mutations are present.
"These findings suggest that a greater risk of CAD later in life is a tradeoff for lifetime reproductive success early in adulthood," Byars stated.
Other genes closely linked to the heart disease gene, such as the ability to have twins or the age that a woman will enter menopause, reiterate that reproductive success may increase the chances of heart problems later in life.
Although these findings are significant, further research on the genetic mutation that causes this type of heart disease and reproduction need to be conducted.
"There are other late-life occurring diseases this could also be tested on," Byars stated, revealing that more than one disease can possibly be linked to one's fertility. Future research will reveal how big of a part your ability to reproduce has on your lifelong health.