Genetic variants associated with age at the onset of first menstruation are reported this week in Nature Genetics. The age of onset, or menarche, varies widely between women and has been associated with risk for diseases including breast and endometrial cancer.
Ken Ong and colleagues report a meta-analysis of 32 genome-wide association studies for age at menarche in 87,802 women, with replication of the results in an additional 14,731 women. They identify 30 genomic regions newly associated with age at menarche. This includes four regions previously associated with body mass index, three involved in energy homeostasis, and three implicated in hormonal regulation.