Age at menarche and age at natural menopause are associated with causes of substantial morbidity and mortality such as breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. We conducted a joint analysis of two genome-wide association studies of these two traits in a total of 17,438 women from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS, N = 2,287) and the Women's Genome Health Study (WGHS, N = 15,151). For age at menarche, we identified ten associated SNPs (P = 1 × 10 7 -3 × 10 13) clustered at 6q21 (in or near the gene LIN28B) and 9q31.2 (in an intergenic region). For age at natural menopause, we identified 13 associated SNPs (P = 1 × 10 7 -1 × 10 21) clustered at 20p12.3 (in the gene MCM8), 19q13.42 (in or near the gene BRSK1), 5q35.2 (in or near genes UIMC1 and HK3) and 6p24.2 (in the gene SYCP2L). These newly identified loci might expand understanding of the biological pathways regulating these two traits.
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