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      Relationships between age and symptom severity among women seeking medical treatment for premenstrual symptoms

      , , ,
      Psychological Medicine
      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Abstract

          Age at the time of seeking treatment for premenstrual symptoms (PMS) was examined in a sample of 332 women who reported severe distress and met criteria for Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder (LLPDD). The mean age of the sample was 33.1 (+/- 5.3) years. Severity of symptoms decreased with age and was not associated with the duration of symptoms. Depression-related factors were associated with the severity of PMS, and together with the duration of symptoms, were the best discriminators between the younger (ages 20-35) and older (ages 36-44) women in this sample. These data suggest that the years of the late twenties through mid-thirties are the most vulnerable time for distressing PMS and fail to support the clinical premise that PMS worsens with age until menopause. Further longitudinal study should be conducted to confirm and extend these findings.

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          Most cited references17

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          Prevalene of perimenstrual symptoms.

          The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of perimenstrual symptoms (PMS) in a free-living population of US women and to determine if prevalence estimates varied with parity, contraceptive status, characteristics of the menstrual cycle, and selected demographic variables. We identified all households from a census listing for five southeastern city neighborhoods that offered variation in racial composition and socioeconomic status. We ascertained all households in which there was one nonpregnant woman between the ages of 18 and 35 years per household. Of the 241 eligible women, 179 (74 per cent) participated in the study. Trained interviewers administered the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ) and other demographic measures to women between March and July 1979. Symptoms with a prevalence greater than 30 per cent included weight gain, headache, skin disorders, cramps, anxiety, backache, fatigue, painful breasts, irritability, mood swings, depression, or tension. Only 2 to 8 per cent of women found most of these severe or disabling. The exceptions were severe cramps reported by 17 per cent of women and severe premenstrual and menstrual irritability by 12 per cent. Cramps, backaches, fatigue, and tension were most prevalent during the menstruum; weight gain, skin disorders, painful breasts, swelling, irritability, mood swings, and depression were more prevalent in the premenstruum. Parity, oral contraceptive use, age, employment, education, and income were negatively associated with selected PMS. Use of an IUD, having long menstrual cycles, long menstrual flow, or heavy menstrual flow, and being able to predict the next period were positively associated with selected PMS. Race had both positive and negative effects on PMS.
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            Perception of family and work environments in women with premenstrual syndrome.

            Seventy-three women with a prospectively confirmed diagnosis of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) were compared to 50 routine gynaecological care non-PMS controls on measures of social climate/environmental stress. Tests administered included the Family Environment Scale (FES), Work Environment Scale (WES), Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The PMS group scored significantly higher on amount of conflict in their families as well as on emphasis on ethical and religious values but lower on direct emotional expressiveness within the family, intellectual-cultural orientation, and active-recreational orientation as compared to controls. Furthermore, the PMS group perceived having more work pressure, less autonomy on the job, and less variety in their work than controls. Overall, psychological distress was not associated with increased environmental stress either in the PMS or control groups.
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              The validity of major depression with atypical features based on a community study.

              This article reports on evidence for the validity of major depression (MDD) with atypical features (defined as overeating and oversleeping) as a distinct subtype based on cross-sectional and 1-year prospective data from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area study. MDD with atypical features, when compared to MDD without atypical features, was associated with a younger age of onset, more psychomotor slowing, and more comorbid panic disorder, drug abuse or dependence, and somatization disorder. These differences could not be explained by differences in demographic characteristics or by symptom severity. This study, based on a community sample, found that major depression with atypical features may constitute a distinct subtype.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                applab
                Psychological Medicine
                Psychol. Med.
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0033-2917
                1469-8978
                March 1995
                July 9 2009
                March 1995
                : 25
                : 02
                : 309
                Article
                10.1017/S0033291700036205
                7675918
                f67dfa93-34dd-4b69-9779-537a73aa4c37
                © 1995
                History

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