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Survey of premenstrual symptom severity and impairment in Korean adolescents: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, subthreshold premenstrual dysphoric disorder and premenstrual syndrome

Authors

  • Jaewon Yang MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Korea
    2. Korea University Research Institute of Mental Health, Seoul, Korea
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  • Sook-Haeng Joe MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Korea University Research Institute of Mental Health, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    • Correspondence

      Sook-Haeng Joe MD, PhD, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, 80, Guro-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul 152-703, Korea.

      Tel: +82 2 2626 3161

      Fax: +82 2 852 1937

      Email: shaeng@korea.ac.kr

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  • Moon-Soo Lee MD, PhD,

    1. Korea University Research Institute of Mental Health, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Seung-Hyun Kim MD, PhD,

    1. Korea University Research Institute of Mental Health, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • In-Kwa Jung MD, PhD

    1. Korea University Research Institute of Mental Health, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Author contribution: All of the authors together designed the study, managed the literature searches and conducted analyses. Sook-Haeng Joe was integral in the design and writing of the article. Jaewon Yang wrote the first draft of the manuscript. Jaewon Yang and Moon-Soo Lee recruited the subjects and performed the assessments. Seung-Hyun Kim and In-Kwa Jung contributed to the interpretation of data and gave their advice throughout the study. All authors contributed to and have approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Introduction

The aims of the study were to examine the prevalence of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), subthreshold PMDD and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) among adolescents, and to assess the nature of symptoms and the impact on daily life functions, especially for PMDD and subthreshold PMDD.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey was conducted among adolescents from an urban area. Participants included 984 girls divided into the following four groups, using a premenstrual symptoms screening tool: PMDD, subthreshold PMDD, moderate/severe PMS and no/mild PMS. An Adolescent Mental Problem Questionnaire, Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale, revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, and a menstrual information questionnaire were also used.

Results

Sixty-three (6.76%) of the subjects met the criteria for PMDD and 58 (6.2%) were subthreshold PMDD. The subthreshold PMDD group included 79.3% who met the symptom criteria for PMDD, but their impairment was moderate, and 21.7% who were falling short by the number of symptoms for PMDD diagnosis, though reporting severe impairment. The symptom intensity and frequency of the subthreshold PMDD subjects were similar to those in subjects with PMDD. In these two groups, 69% had moderate to severe physical symptoms. Psychiatric problems, including depression and anxiety, were higher in the PMDD and subthreshold PMDD groups than in the moderate/severe PMS and no/mild PMS group.

Discussion

In total, 20% of adolescents reported suffering from distressing premenstrual symptoms, and girls with PMDD and subthreshold PMDD were very similar in their symptom severity and characteristics. Prospective daily charting is needed to confirm the accurate diagnosis and management of PMDD.

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