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J Asthma. 2010 Oct;47(8):835-40. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2010.495810.

Premenstrual asthma and symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome.

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  • 1Pneumology Section, Hospital Juan Ramón Jiménez, Huelva, Spain. apv01h@saludalia.com



It is unclear whether premenstrual asthma is associated with premenstrual syndrome. The objective of this study is to compare premenstrual symptoms among asthmatic women according to whether they have premenstrual asthma or not.


A questionnaire on respiratory symptoms during a single menstrual cycle was developed for asthmatics of fertile age, together with another on symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome. These included dysphoric-psychiatric symptoms (anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, and mood swings), edematous symptoms (abdominal and mammary tension, swelling, acne, and migraine), and other symptoms (leg pains, nausea, sweating, vomiting, and tiredness). Morning and evening peak flow scores were collected to evaluate lung function. Premenstrual asthma was determined to be a ≥ 20% objective exacerbation in the premenstrual phase over the preovulatory phase in terms of both respiratory symptoms and/or peak flow. The intensity of the change in symptoms was evaluated according to the effect size.


The study examined 103 patients of fertile age, 46 of whom (44.7%) presented with premenstrual asthma. Practically all of the monitored symptoms increased in the premenstrual phase with respect to the preovulatory phase. This increase was greater in women with premenstrual asthma, especially for abdominal tension (effect size .88 against .33; p = .009) and mammary tension (.95 against .49; p = .018).


A clear link was found between premenstrual asthma and the premenstrual exacerbation of dysphoric symptoms, and certain edematous symptoms such as abdominal and mammary tension as well as a swelling sensation.

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