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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2005 Mar;26(1):33-9.

Obesity as a risk factor for premenstrual syndrome.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0212, USA.



To determine the association between obesity and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).


A cross-sectional study was conducted using a random-digit dialing method. The sampling frame consisted of all possible area codes, exchanges, and 4-digit suffixes in Virginia. A total of 874 women between the ages of 18-44 residing in the state of Virginia between August 1 and September 15, 1994 were interviewed. Cases were defined as women who reported severe or extreme PMS symptom changes using the Shortened Premenstrual Assessment Form. The main exposure variable was obesity as measured by Body Mass Index.


The prevalence of PMS in Virginia was 10.3 percent. Obese women (BMI > or = 30) had nearly a three-fold increased risk for PMS than non-obese women OR = 2.8 (95% CI = 1.1, 7.2). PMS was more prevalent among whites, younger women, and smokers.


This data provided evidence that obesity is strongly associated with PMS. Since obesity is a modifiable risk factor, PMS management strategies should not only consider factors such as, high stress, and smoking but also obesity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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