Menopause? Apparently it’s in the genes…

Posted by on Jan 30, 2012 in menopause | 0 comments

That is what scientists are reporting in Nature Genetics. They say that when they examined studies looking the genetic code for almost 39,000 women, the discovered that the timing of menopause may very well be linked to specific genes. What’s more, three of the 13 locations of these genes were directly associated with the immune system. The other important regions are associated with cellular repair, hormones and inflammation, all of which are linked with certain things that happen as we age, e.g. increased risk of developing certain illnesses, changes in appearance, and of course, ovarian function.

The researchers say that the study suggests that there is a genetic basis for when menopause begins and that it’s even possible that over time, they may be able to take some of these learnings to figure out why some women go through menopause prematurely or have fertility issues. Additionally, the potential role that immunity may play could open up other doors for general disease prevention and risk reduction, especially with regard to issues that especially affect women, such as breast cancer or heart disease.

Granted, there are other factors that may influence age at menopause, such as smoking or chemical exposure by our mothers while we were in the womb. Moreover, you may recall that researchers have identified a fairly simple blood test to predict age at menopause, although it is not yet being broadly used for this purpose.

Meanwhile? Knowing when you might start menopause can help with family planning, particularly if you get a late start, or place you on the road to healthy habits early when you are still able to prevent some of the things that seem inevitable, like thinning bones or chronic illness.

Stay tuned. Apparently it really is in our genes after all. At least in part.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *