Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurological disease of largely unknown etiology with no cure. The National ALS Registry is a voluntary online system that collects demographic and reproductive history (females only) data from patients with ALS. We will examine the association between demographic and reproductive history among female patients aged >18 years and various ages of onset for ALS. Methods: Data from a cross-sectional study were collected and examined for 1,018 female ALS patients. Patient characteristics examined were demographics including race, BMI, and familial history of ALS. Among patients, information on reproductive history, including age at menopause, ever pregnant, and age at first pregnancy was collected. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were used to estimate OR and 95% CI in this study. Results: Women were more likely to be diagnosed with ALS before age 60 if they were nonwhite (p = 0.015), had attended college (p = 0.0012), had a normal BMI at age 40 (p < 0.0001), completed menopause before age 50 (p < 0.0001), and had never been pregnant (p = 0.046) in the univariate analysis. Women diagnosed with ALS before age 60 were also more likely to have limb site of onset (p < 0.0001). In the multivariate analysis, those who completed menopause before age 50 were more likely to be diagnosed with ALS before age 60 (OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.4-2.3) compared with women who completed menopause at or after age 50, after controlling for race, ever pregnant, age at first pregnancy, family history of ALS, education status, smoking history, and BMI at age 40. For women who were diagnosed with ALS before age 50, the odds of them entering menopause before age 50 climb to 48.7 (95% CI: 11.8, 200.9). The mean age of ALS diagnosis for women who completed menopause before age 50 was 58 years and 64 years for women who entered menopause after age 50 (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Women who reported completing menopause before age 50 were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with ALS before age 60 compared with those who reported entering menopause after age 50. More research is needed to determine the relationship between female reproductive history, especially regarding endogenous estrogen exposure and early-onset ALS.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Motor neuron disease
- Reproductive history
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology