Recreational physical activity and premenstrual syndrome in young adult women: A cross-sectional study

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© 2017 Kroll-Desrosiers et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Introduction It is estimated that up to 75% of premenopausal women experience at least one premenstrual symptom and 8±20% meet clinical criteria for premenstrual syndrome. Premenstrual syndrome substantially reduces quality of life for many women of reproductive age, with pharmaceutical treatments having limited efficacy and substantial side effects. Physical activity has been recommended as a method of reducing menstrual symptom severity. However, this recommendation is based on relatively little evidence, and the relationship between physical activity, premenstrual symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome remains unclear. Methods We evaluated the relationship between physical activity and premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual symptoms among 414 women aged 18±31. Usual premenstrual symptom experience was assessed with a modified version of the Calendar of Premenstrual Experiences. Total, physical, and affective premenstrual symptom scores were calculated for all participants. Eighty women met criteria for moderate-to-severe premenstrual syndrome, while 89 met control criteria. Physical activity, along with dietary and lifestyle factors, was assessed by self-report. Results Physical activity was not significantly associated with total, affective, or physical premenstrual symptom score. Compared to the women with the lowest activity, women in tertiles 2 and 3 of activity, classified as metabolic equivalent task hours, had prevalence odds ratios for premenstrual syndrome of 1.5 (95% CI: 0.6±3.7) and 0.9 (95% CI: 0.4±2.4), respectively (p-value for trend = 0.85). Conclusions We found no association between physical activity and either premenstrual symptom scores or the prevalence of premenstrual syndrome.




Kroll-Desrosiers, A. R., Ronnenberg, A. G., Zagarins, S. E., Houghton, S. C., Takashima-Uebelhoer, B. B., & Bertone-Johnson, E. R. (2017). Recreational physical activity and premenstrual syndrome in young adult women: A cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE, 12(1).

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