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Psychosocial and lifestyle correlates of premenstrual symptoms among military women

Background: This study examines the prevalence and correlates of self-reported premenstrual symptoms among a large, population-based sample of reproductive age, active-duty women. Methods: Data were obtained from a combined dataset of two large-scale mail surveys designed to represent the total force. Subjects included in the present study were 6026 active-duty women of all branches of military service stratified by service, paygrade group, race/ethnicity, and location. A multivariate approach is used to evaluate the interrelationships among psychosocial and lifestyle correlates of premenstrual symptoms or pain after controlling for demographic differences in women who reported premenstrual symptoms or pain during the past 3 months (cases) and those who did not (controls). Results: Premenstrual symptoms were reported by nearly 2 of every 3 reproductive age women. Women reporting premenstrual symptoms were more likely to report other symptoms of menstrual dysfunction, two or more current medical conditions, migraines, and healthcare provider visits in the past year. After controlling for the protective effects of taking DepoProvera (Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI) and ever being pregnant, younger age, trying to lose weight, heavier drinking, poorer self-perceived health, and overall job stress were the most significant predictors of premenstrual symptoms. The greatest risk factor was a high level of job stress, with an almost 3-fold increase in risk relative to those without symptoms. Conclusions: Work stress may mediate the relationship among depression and premenstrual symptoms. Further research is needed to elucidate the biological interrelationships among work stress, hormonal function, and premenstrual symptomatology


Hourani, L., Yuan, HX., & Bray, R. (2004). Psychosocial and lifestyle correlates of premenstrual symptoms among military women. Journal of Womens Health, 13(7), 812-821. https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2004.13.812

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