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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2004 Apr;58(2):186-90.

Premenstrual symptoms and premenstrual exacerbation in patients with psychiatric disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University School of Medicine, Tao-yuan, Taiwan.


The aim of the present study was to examine the frequencies of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual exacerbation (PME) of a number of psychiatric disorders in Chinese subjects. Premenstrual syndrome was assessed using a symptom checklist based on International Classification of Diseases (10th revision; ICD-10) criteria. Premenstrual exacerbation was defined as premenstrual worsening of pre-existing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder (depressive disorders, DD), panic disorder (PD), or schizophrenia (SCH). Fifty outpatients were randomly sampled for each diagnostic group. Diagnosis was performed by psychiatrists using the structured Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), and the frequencies of PMS and PME were compared for the different diagnostic groups. The PMS symptoms were reported by 78%, 80%, 68%, and 52% of GAD, DD, PD, and SCH patients, respectively, with 52%, 52%, 36%, and 20% fulfilling the definition of PME. No significant statistical relationships between diagnostic entities and family history of PMS, years of education, or age were demonstrated, but number of PMS symptoms was associated with severity of PME. No significant relationships were demonstrated between PME and marital status, parity, years of education, age, or family history of PMS. The results showed that high PME rates were noted for a sample of Chinese women with mental disorders, especially those with depressive and anxiety disorders.

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