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Hot Flushes Linked to Cytochrome P450 Gene

Impact of gene independent of E2 and estrone levels

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FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Perimenopausal and menopausal hot flushes are associated with a polymorphism in the gene that codes for CYP1B1, a cytochrome P450 enzyme, according to a study published in the December issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The polymorphism is a risk factor for hot flushes independent of estradiol (E2) and estrone levels, the authors say.

Jodi Flaws, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues surveyed 354 women aged 45 to 54 who reported ever having experienced a hot flush and 258 women in the same age range who said they had never experienced them.

Compared to women without the CYP1B1 polymorphism, women with the genotype were 30% more likely to experience severe hot flushes and 27% more likely to report hot flushes lasting at least a year. Carriers of the polymorphism were also 16% more likely to report any incidence of hot flushes and 29% more likely to report hot flushes of at least weekly frequency. However, the authors said these two differences were only of borderline statistical significance.

"These novel results suggest that certain genetic polymorphisms such as those in CYP1B1 may be predictors of subsequent susceptibility to hot flushes in midlife women. This is a new line of investigation with respect to hot flushes that could have future clinical implications," the authors conclude.

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