Objective: Natural menopause is a key physiological event in a woman's life. Timing of menopause affects risk for many postmenopausal systemic disorders and may thus influence life expectancy. Age at natural menopause (ANM) is largely determined genetically, but a list of candidate genes is far from complete. This study investigated the ALOX12 gene for its possible association with ANM. Methods: Six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the gene (rs9904779, rs2073438, rs11571340, rs434473, rs2307214, and rs312462) were genotyped in a random sample of 210 unrelated white women. The SNPs and common haplotypes were then analyzed for their association with ANM. Smoking, alcohol consumption, and duration of breast-feeding were used as covariates. Results: Two SNPs, rs9904779 and rs434473 (encodes a replacement of asparagine by serine in the protein), were significantly associated with ANM (P = 0.022 and 0.033, respectively). The minor alleles of both SNPs seem to promote about 1.3-to 1.5-year earlier menopause and confer a 1.6 to 1.8 times higher risk for early menopause. All SNPs indicated significant or nearly significant interactions with alcohol use and duration of breast-feeding. Five common haplotypes were also associated with ANM. Conclusions: The ALOX12 gene seems to be associated with the timing of natural menopause in white women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Obstetrics and Gynecology