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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jun;90(6):3427-30. Epub 2005 Mar 15.

Heritability of age at natural menopause in the Framingham Heart Study.

Author information

1
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, 73 Mount Wayte Avenue, Suite 2, Framingham, Massachusetts 01702-5827, USA. Murabito@bu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Twin registries and family history studies provide evidence that genetic factors contribute to the onset of menopause, but heritability estimates in population-based samples are limited. We sought to estimate heritability of age at natural menopause in women participating in the multigenerational Framingham Heart Study, a community-based epidemiological study.

METHODS:

A total of 1500 original cohort and 932 offspring cohort women from 1296 extended families reported a natural menopause defined as the natural cessation of menses for 1 yr or more. Correlation coefficients were calculated using family correlations in Statistical Applications for Genetic Epidemiology for mother-daughter, sister-sister, and aunt-niece pairs. Heritability was estimated using variance-components methods in the Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines (SOLAR) computer package. Covariates in the multivariable models included generation, number of cigarettes smoked, body mass index, and parity.

RESULTS:

The mean age at natural menopause was 49.1 and 49.4 yr in original cohort and offspring women, respectively. The multivariable-adjusted correlation coefficients for mother-daughter, sister-sister, and aunt-niece pairs were 0.21, 0.22, and 0.12, respectively. The crude and multivariable-adjusted heritability estimates for age at natural menopause were 0.49 (0.37, 0.61) and 0.52 (0.35, 0.69).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data suggest that at least 50% of the interindividual variability in menopausal age appears to be attributable to genetic effects.

PMID:
15769979
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2005-0181
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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