B4227 - Age at menarche and adverse pregnancy outcomes - 21/12/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Amy Taylor | University of Bristol, Population Health Sciences (UK)
Professor Abigail Fraser, Ms Elisabeth Aiton
Title of project: 
Age at menarche and adverse pregnancy outcomes
Proposal summary: 

Previous evidence has shown that starting your period at an earlier age may increase your risk of having complications during pregnancy, such as a low birth weight baby. However, this evidence was all based on observations which may be skewed by the fact that having a higher BMI makes you more likely to start periods earlier and also increases your risk of these pregnancy complications. We will estimate the effect of having an earlier period on your risk of having complications during pregnancy association within ALSPAC. We will account for factors such as BMI and smoking, which have been collected in great detail for the volunteers participating in ALSPAC. This will then be compared to a separate approach to answer the same question, using a method called Mendelian randomization.

Impact of research: 
Our findings will provide further evidence to disentangle the causal relationships between age at menarche, BMI and adverse events in pregnancy. If earlier age at menarche is shown to have a causal role in adverse events, this information could be useful in risk stratification tools predicting risk of adverse events during pregnancy. Further research could then build on this to identify mechanisms mediating this causal relationship, which could elucidate strategies for clinical intervention.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 20 December, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 21 December, 2022
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Statistical methods, Birth outcomes, Genetic epidemiology, Mendelian randomisation, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics