Humans Have High Chances of Heart Problems Compared To Other Animals

Unlike all other animals, humans have an unlucky tendency to drop dead from heart attacks that haven’t any apparent cause. In keeping with new research within the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this inconvenient ticker malfunction can all be blamed on a single gene, which turned deactivated in humans because of a mutation that occurred in one of our ancestors, between 2 and 3 million years ago.

Atherosclerosis is a type of cardiovascular disease characterized by the clogging of arteries, and is the main cause of human death worldwide, accounting for around a third of all fatalities. In lots of instances, it is brought on by factors such as weight problems, hypertension, smoking, and blood cholesterol, although around 15 % of heart attacks due to atherosclerosis occur with none of those risk components.

These sudden, undefined heart attacks are virtually non-existent in all other species, together with a lot of our closest relatives such as chimpanzees. And the reason, it appears, is all down to a single sugar molecule referred to as Neu5Gc that’s discovered on the surface of cells in all animals other than humans.

The gene that codes for Neu5Gc known as CMAH and seems to have been deactivated in one of our early ancestors several million years ago. One concept is that the elimination of Neu5Gc happens as an evolutionary response to a selected form of malaria, which attached to the molecule so as to infect apes.

Fast-forward to today, and modern humans stay immune to certain malaria strains that chimps and other apes are susceptible to, yet the outcomes of this latest analysis bring home just how high a price we have to pay for our resistance to the disease.

The research authors deactivated the CMAH gene in lab mice, leading to a deficiency of Neu5Gc. In comparison with regular mice, these rodents had been discovered to be 1.9 times more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis.