Cancer treatment could be furthered by the discovery of a connection between the ages at which a woman begins her period and enters menopause and the likelihood of developing cancer of the breast.
Endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease are also affected by the gene that determines when the onset of menstruation and menopause will occur.
Chunyan He, who carried out the research while a doctoral student in the HSPH Department of Epidemiology, commented: "At these newly identified loci, fine mapping or sequencing might lead to identification of the causal variants and thus expand our knowledge of the underlying physiology and biological regulation of these traits."
He added that finding out more about the genetic consequence of the onset of period and menopause could aid treatment and possible prevention of cancer.
A study funded by the National Cancer Institute and carried out by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center has established that ginger can ease nausea experienced by patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.