We assessed associations of genetic loci that contribute to age at menarche and menopause with sentinel menopausal traits in multiple race/ethnic groups.
Genetic data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation include 738 White, 366 Black, 139 Chinese, and 145 Japanese women aged 42 to 52 at baseline. We constructed standardized polygenic risk scores (PRSs) using single nucleotide polymorphisms identified from large-scale genome-wide association studies meta-analyses of ages at menopause and menarche, evaluating associations with each trait within each race/ethnic group.
Menopause PRS was significantly associated with age at menopause in White women after Bonferroni correction (P < 0.004) and nominally associated in Chinese and Japanese women (P < 0.05) (7.4-8.5 mo delay for one standard deviation [SD] increase in PRS). Menarche PRS was significantly associated with age at menarche in White (P < 0.004) and nominally associated in Black and Japanese women (P < 0.05) (2.6-4.8 mo delay for one SD increase). In White women, menarche and menopause PRSs were significantly associated (P < 0.004) with shorter and longer (5.9 and 9.6 mo for one SD increase) reproductive lifespans, respectively, and menopause PRS with a longer menopausal transition (7.1 mo for one SD increase). We observed a significant positive association (P < 0.004) between menopause PRS and E2 level 2 years before menopause and a nominal association (P < 0.05) 2 years after menopause in Japanese women.
In addition to menopausal timing, PRSs associated with onset and ending of reproductive life were associated with reproductive lifespan, length of the menopausal transition, and E2 levels in different race/ethnic groups.

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