Bibliographic review: Hot flushes and night sweats during the menopause, a possible genetic basis

One study has found a strong correlation between the likelihood of vasomotor symptoms of menopause and genetic variation.

Crandall, C., Manson, J.E., Hohensee, C. et al, “Association of genetic variation in the tachykinin receptor 3 locus with hot flashes and night sweats in the Women´s Health Initiative Study”. Menopause. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000763.

It is understood that the vasomotor symptoms of the menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats are associated with your body mass index, ethnicity-race, anxiety, depression, whether you smoke or not and have a low educational level, but so far nobody has found a genetic base for this symptomatology. In the present study, the authors found a strong correlation between the likelihood of suffering vasomotor symptoms of the menopause and a genetic variation (SNPs) at the locus of receptor 3 of tachykinin (TACR3), on chromosome 4.

This study was conducted on samples collected from 17,695 women between the ages of 50 and 79, across 40 health centers in the US, who had not been treated with hormone therapy, or any other such treatment that might otherwise mask the symptoms of the treatment. On the one hand, it was determined, through the questionnaire, that 63% of the women studied had vasomotor symptoms. On the other hand, more than 11 million SNPs were analyzed and it was concluded that 14 of them were significantly associated with the vasomotor symptoms of the menopause. All of these polymorphisms were located in the TACR3 gene of chromosome 4. This genetic basis for suffering vasomotor symptoms during the menopause is independent of race (it occurs irrespective of race) which suggests that the mutation is very old.

The biological bases responsible for the hot flashes and night sweats of menopausal women are not completely known and advances in our knowledge will provide new therapies for their treatment (perhaps genetic) in the future.

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