Health and economic impact of the premenstrual syndrome

J Reprod Med. 2003 Jul;48(7):515-24.


Objective: To explore the effect of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) on health-related quality of life, health care utilization and occupational functioning.

Study design: A cross-sectional cohort study of women prospectively diagnosed with PMS.

Results: Among women completing the survey, 28.7% were diagnosed with PMS. Women with PMS had significantly lower scores on the Mental Component Summary (MCS) and Physical Component Summary (PCS) scale scores of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 as compared to women without PMS (MCS = 42.8 vs. 49.5, P < .001, and PCS = 51.1 vs. 53.0, P = .04). Women with PMS reported reduced work productivity, interference with hobbies and greater number of work days missed for health reasons (P < .001). In addition, women with PMS experienced an increased frequency of ambulatory health care provider visits (P = .04) and were more likely to accrue > $500 in visit costs over 2 years (P < .006).

Conclusion: Findings from this study suggest that premenstrual symptoms significantly affect health-related quality of life and may result in increased health care utilization and decreased occupational productivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Efficiency
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / economics*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / psychology*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Women's Health