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Age at Menarche and Time Spent in Education: A Mendelian Randomization Study

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Title: Age at Menarche and Time Spent in Education: A Mendelian Randomization Study
Authors: Gill, DPS
Del Greco M, F
Rawson, TM
Sivakumaran, P
Brown, A
Sheehan, NA
Minelli, C
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Menarche signifies the primary event in female puberty and is associated with changes in self-identity. It is not clear whether earlier puberty causes girls to spend less time in education. Observational studies on this topic are likely to be affected by confounding environmental factors. The Mendelian randomization (MR) approach addresses these issues by using genetic variants (such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs) as proxies for the risk factor of interest. We use this technique to explore whether there is a causal effect of age at menarche on time spent in education. Instruments and SNP-age at menarche estimates are identified from a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) meta-analysis of 182,416 women of European descent. The effects of instruments on time spent in education are estimated using a GWAS meta-analysis of 118,443 women performed by the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC). In our main analysis, we demonstrate a small but statistically significant causal effect of age at menarche on time spent in education: a 1 year increase in age at menarche is associated with 0.14 years (53 days) increase in time spent in education (95% CI 0.10–0.21 years, p = 3.5 × 10−8). The causal effect is confirmed in sensitivity analyses. In identifying this positive causal effect of age at menarche on time spent in education, we offer further insight into the social effects of puberty in girls.
Issue Date: 9-Aug-2017
Date of Acceptance: 13-Jul-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/50124
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10519-017-9862-2
ISSN: 0001-8244
Publisher: Springer Nature
Start Page: 480
End Page: 485
Journal / Book Title: Behavior Genetics
Volume: 47
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is an open access publication
Keywords: Education
Educational attainment
Menarche
Mendelian randomization
Puberty
1701 Psychology
1109 Neurosciences
Genetics & Heredity
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Infectious Disease Epidemiology
National Heart and Lung Institute
Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine



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