Premenstrual distress predicts panic-relevant responding to a CO2 challenge among young adult females

J Anxiety Disord. 2010 May;24(4):416-22. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.02.006. Epub 2010 Feb 20.


The current study examined the incremental validity of self-reported premenstrual distress in predicting panic responsivity (self-reported panic symptoms and skin conductance response frequency; SCR) following inhalation of 10% CO(2)-enriched air. A community sample of young adult women (n=46) completed questionnaires assessing substance use patterns, premenstrual symptoms and distress, and anxiety sensitivity and underwent a laboratory biological challenge procedure (4-min 10% CO(2)-enriched air inhalation). As hypothesized, higher premenstrual distress scores significantly predicted greater self-reported panic symptoms following the CO(2) challenge above and beyond other theoretically relevant variables (anxiety sensitivity, cigarette use, and alcohol consumption). In predicting SCR, premenstrual distress exhibited only a trend towards statistical significance. These findings provide preliminary evidence that premenstrual symptoms may serve as a potential risk factor to experience more intense panic symptoms in response to perturbations in bodily sensations.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Panic Disorder / chemically induced
  • Panic Disorder / physiopathology
  • Panic Disorder / psychology*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychological Tests
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Young Adult


  • Carbon Dioxide