The largest genomic analysis of puberty timing in men and women conducted to date has identified 389 genetic signals associated with puberty timing, four times the number that were previously known.
The study…also found new genetic evidence linking earlier timing of puberty to higher risk of several cancers known to be sensitive to sex-hormones in later life, including breast, ovary and endometrial cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men. These influences remained after controlling for body weight, which is important as body weight itself influences both the timing of puberty and the risk of some cancers.
Dr John Perry, Senior Investigator Scientist from the MRC Epidemiology Unit says: “Previous studies suggested that the timing of puberty in childhood was associated with risks of disease decades later, but until now it was unclear if those were circumstantial observations, for example secondary to other factors such as body weight. Our current study identifies direct causal links between earlier puberty timing itself and increased cancer risk.”
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