Premature ovarian failure

Walter Vegetti, Anna Marozzi, Emanuela Manfredini, Giovanna Testa, Federica Alagna, Annaelisa Nicolosi, Ilaria Caliari, Monica Taborelli, Maria Grazia Tibiletti, Leda Dalprà, Pier Giorgio Crosignani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Secondary amenorrhoea with elevated gonadotrophins occurring under the age of 40 (premature ovarian failure (POF)), and at the age between 41 and 44 years (early menopause (EM)), respectively, affects 1-2% and 5% of women in the general population. Objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of familial cases of POF and EM and to assess the clinical and genetic characteristics of these patients. One hundred and sixty women with idiopathic secondary amenorrhoea before the age of 45 and serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels greater than or equal to 40 IU/l were included in the study. Tests performed on patients included complete medical history, pedigree's analysis, clinical pelvic examination, gonadotrophins and thyroid assessment, chromosomal analysis. The 160 patients included in the study showed idiopathic POF (n=130) or EM (n=30). Following pedigree assessment, we were able to identify an incidence of familial cases of 28.5% in the POF group (n=37) and of 50% in the EM group (n=15). POF and EM condition were often present in the same family. There were no differences between POF and EM patients and between familial and sporadic cases regarding age at menarche, personal history, gynaecological history, weight, height and diet habits. There was a statistically significant difference between sporadic and familial cases in age at POF onset: 32.0±7.3 years (12-40) compared to 35.0±5.8 (18-40), respectively (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2000


  • Familial
  • Genetic
  • Idiopathic
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Reproductive risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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