First step towards genetic test to predict early menopause, UK.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Menopause (Genetic aspects)
Menopause (Diagnosis)
Genetic screening (Usage)
Pub Date: 05/01/2011
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: May, 2011 Source Volume: 19 Source Issue: 37
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United Kingdom Geographic Code: 4EUUK United Kingdom
Accession Number: 259077133
Full Text: Women's fertility decreases approximately ten years before menopause, and 5% of women in the UK start the menopause before age 46. As more women delay childbirth into their 30s, the number of women who experience infertility is likely to increase. Tests that predict the timing of menopause would allow women to make reproductive decisions based on this information. Current predictors are only effective just prior to menopause, and there are no long-range indicators. Age at menopause and early menopause are highly heritable, suggesting a genetic aetiology. This study tested four genes known to be associated with variation in the age of normal menopause (40-60 years) in order to determine whether theses genes are also risk factors for early menopause. It compared 2,000 women who had experienced early menopause from the Breakthrough Generations Study--a large UK study into the causes of breast cancer--with a matched group of the same number who had not experienced early menopause. All four genes significantly increased the odds of having early menopause and in combination they had a larger impact. These findings are the first stage in developing an easy and relatively inexpensive genetic test to help women determine whether they have a genetic predisposition to early menopause, bur the discriminative power is still limited. (1,2)

(1.) Murray A, Bennett CE, Perry JR, et al. Common genetic variants are significant risk factors for early menopause: results from the Breakthrough Generations Study. Human Molecular Genetics 2011;20(l): 186-92.

(2.) Scientists report first step towards a genetic test to predict early menopause, Institute of Cancer Research press release, 18 October 2010.
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