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The epidemiology of perimenstrual psychological symptoms

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Objective: The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence, clinical significance and comorbidity of perimenstrual symptoms/syndrome (PERI-MS) in a community sample of women.

Method: Premenstrual and menstrual physical and psychological symptoms were assessed in a prospective longitudinal study of a representative community cohort of women (N=299) who were interviewed five times between the ages of 21 and 35 years.

Results: When classified according to the severity of distress, the prevalence rates were 8.1% for severe and 13.6% for moderate PERI-MS, respectively. Clinical indicators of severity were all greater among PERI-MS women with than without depressed mood.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that irritability, nervousness and tension irrespective of the presence of concomitant depressed mood are core elements of the perimenstrual syndrome.

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Keywords: distress; premenstrual; prevalence

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Zurich University Psychiatric Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland 2: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA and 3: Department of Psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA

Publication date: 2001-08-01

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