Objectives: Timing of menopause affects postmenopausal health risks. The objective of this study was to evaluate the associations of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-related genes (PPARD, PPARG, and PPARGC1A) and environmental factors with timing of natural menopause among the general Japanese population. Study design: We analyzed cross-sectional data from 1758 women aged 40-69 years who were enrolled in the baseline surveys of the Japan Multi-institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study. Main outcome measures: Associations of timing of natural menopause with its probable covariates and with target gene variants were evaluated by univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Lower body mass index and later age at menarche were significantly associated with earlier natural menopause. Women with minor alleles at T-48444C in PPARD showed a significantly higher adjusted hazard ratio of 1.57 (95% confidence interval: 1.18-2.10) for earlier natural menopause. In contrast, women with minor alleles at Thr394Thr in PPARGC1A showed a significantly lower adjusted hazard ratio of 0.86 (0.76-0.97) for earlier natural menopause. These associations did not substantially alter when re-analyzed after excluding the subjects who self-reported a history of diabetes or the subjects whose age was more than 65 years. Conclusions: Gene variants in PPARD and PPARGC1A might be associated with timing of natural menopause, probably through direct actions on the ovaries, among the general Japanese population.
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