Background Age at menarche and age at natural menopause occur significantly earlier in African American women than in other ethnic groups. African American women also have twice the prevalence of cardiometabolic disorders related to the timing of these reproductive traits. Objectives The objectives of this integrative review were to (a) summarize the genome-wide association studies of reproductive traits in African American women, (b) identify genes that overlap with reproductive traits and cardiometabolic risk factors in African American women, and (c) propose biological mechanisms explaining the link between reproductive traits and cardiometabolic risk factors. Methods PubMed was searched for genome-wide association studies of genes associated with reproductive traits in African American women. After extracting and summarizing the primary genes, we examined whether any of the associations with reproductive traits had also been identified with cardiometabolic risk factors in African American women. Results Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Associations with both reproductive and cardiometabolic traits were reported in or near the following genes: FTO, SEC16B, TMEM18, APOE, PHACTR1, KCNQ1, LDLR, PIK3R1, and RORA. Biological pathways implicated include body weight regulation, vascular homeostasis, and lipid metabolism. Discussion A better understanding of the genetic basis of reproductive traits in African American women may provide insight into the biological mechanisms linking variation in these traits with increased risk for cardiometabolic disorders in this population.
- African American
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