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Twins More Likely to Have Premature Menopause

Phenomenon affects both monozygotic and dizygotic pairs

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Twins, both monozygotic and dizygotic, are more likely to have premature ovarian failure compared with their singleton counterparts, according to a report published online Oct. 25 in Human Reproduction.

Roger Gosden, Ph.D., D.Sc., of Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, and colleagues studied the menopausal ages of 832 twin-pairs from Australia and the U.K., using a mail questionnaire to survey them on medical and reproductive history and on lifestyle factors.

At age 40 and 45 years, both monozygotic and dizygotic twins had a threefold to fivefold greater chance of going into early menopause compared with the general population, with monozygotic twins having a closer age at last menses than dizygotic twins.

"Despite some striking difference within monozygotic twin-pairs, menopausal ages were more concordant than for dizygotic twin-pairs, confirming that the timing of menopause has a heritable component," the authors write.

"The great majority of twins of either zygosity can expect to reach menopause at a similar age to singletons, but for those prone to idiopathic premature ovarian failure there are clinical implications to having a discordant sibling. Women who have not yet attained their desired family size could have the possibility of sister to sister oocyte donation or ovarian tissue isografting," they conclude.

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