Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among family history of alcoholism (FH), premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, and alcohol consumption in women with a PMS diagnosis.
Method: Participants (N = 46) were predominantly white (73%) women, of whom 17 (37%) reported multigenerational alcoholism on the paternal side (FH positive [FH+]) using the Family Alcohol and Drug Survey. Subjects recorded alcohol consumption and PMS symptoms using a daily record form for 3 consecutive months.
Results: Demographics and alcohol consumption during the follicular phase (FOL) and premenstrual phase (PREM) of the menstrual cycle did not differ by FH; however, change in drinking from FOL to PREM was greater in FH+ (mean change = 2.78 drinks/week) versus FH negative (FH-; mean change = -0.72 drinks/week) women. During PREM, FH- women reported more PMS symptomatology compared with FH+ women, and alcohol consumption during PREM was positively correlated with ratings of bloating, craving for alcohol, craving for food, and low energy in FH- but not FH+ women.
Conclusions: Although FH+ women increased their drinking premenstrually, such use was unrelated to PMS symptom severity.