The prevalence of hypertension is increasing among younger women, and new strategies are needed to identify high-risk women who should be targets for early intervention. Several mechanisms underlying hypertension might also contribute to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but whether women with PMS have a higher risk of subsequently developing hypertension has not been assessed. We prospectively evaluated this possibility in a substudy of the Nurses' Health Study II. Participants were 1,257 women with clinically significant PMS (1991-2005) and 2,463 age-matched comparison women with few menstrual symptoms. Participants were followed for incident hypertension until 2011. Over 6-20 years, hypertension was reported by 342 women with PMS and 541 women without. After adjustment for age, smoking, body mass index, and other risk factors for hypertension, women with PMS had a hazard ratio for hypertension of 1.4 (95% confidence interval: 1.2, 1.6) compared with women without PMS. Risk was highest for hypertension that occurred before 40 years of age (hazard ratio = 3.3; 95% confidence interval: 1.7, 6.5; P for interaction = 0.0002). The risk associated with PMS was not modified by use of oral contraceptives or antidepressants but was attenuated among women with high intakes of thiamine and riboflavin (P < 0.05). These results suggest that PMS might be associated with future development of hypertension and that this risk may be modifiable.
Keywords: cohort studies; diet; hypertension; premenstrual syndrome.
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