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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2003 Aug;28 Suppl 3:1-23.

The prevalence, impairment, impact, and burden of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMS/PMDD).

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.


Currently it is estimated that 3-8% of women of reproductive age meet strict criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Assessment of published reports demonstrate that the prevalence of clinically relevant dysphoric premenstrual disorder is probably higher. 13-18% of women of reproductive age may have premenstrual dysphoric symptoms severe enough to induce impairment and distress, though the number of symptoms may not meet the arbitrary count of 5 symptoms on the PMDD list. The impairment and lowered quality of life for PMDD is similar to that of dysthymic disorder and is not much lower than major depressive disorder. Nevertheless, PMS/PMDD is still under-recognized in large published epidemiological studies, as well as assessments of burden of disease. It is demonstrated here that the burden of PMS/PMDD as well as the disability adjusted life years (DALY) lost due to this repeated-cyclic disorder is in the same magnitude as major recognized disorders. Appropriate recognition of the disorder and its impact should lead to treatment of more women with PMS/PMDD. Efficacious treatments are available. They should reduce individual suffering and impact on family, society, and economy.

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