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Heritability of Age at Menarche and Menstrual Cycle Length in a Population Exposed to a Brominated Flame Retardant $43.00
Authors:  Kira C. Taylor, Chanley M. Small, Michael P Epstein, Metrecia L. Terrell and Michele Marcus
Abstract:
We determined the heritability of age at menarche and menstrual cycle length in a population exposed to a brominated flame retardant, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs). We further investigated whether exposure to this potential endocrine disruptor affected the heritability of these traits. Methods: Our study population consisted of 373 families with variable PBB exposure. We estimated the heritability of self-reported age at menarche and menstrual cycle length using variance components methodology and assessed whether such heritability estimates varied by PBB exposure. Results: Age at menarche and menstrual cycle length were both heritable (heritability of age at menarche, 0.530.05; cycle length, 0.420.10). Heritability of age at menarche was higher in those with PBB levels at or below the limit of detection (0.600.07) than in the highly exposed group (0.380.12), although the difference did not reach statistical significance (χ2=2.50, p=0.11). Menstrual cycle length exhibited a non-significant trend similar to the menarche analysis when stratified by PBB exposure. Conclusions: This study provides support that age at menarche and menstrual cycle length are heritable. This study also demonstrates the utility of a method to investigate potential gene-environment interactions by examining heritability of a trait within strata of an environmental exposure. 


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Heritability of Age at Menarche and Menstrual Cycle Length in a Population Exposed to a Brominated Flame Retardant