A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has established that women who suffer from PMS are more likely to develop hypertension or high blood pressure and related diseases over a period of years unless otherwise treated.

PMS stands for the pre-menstrual syndrome, and it is a syndrome that occurs to many women from two to 14 days before the onset of menstruation. Some of the side effects include headaches and fatigue among others.

About 1,250 women with PMS were studied between 1991 and 2005, together with 2,500 other women who showed menstrual affinity with the syndrome. The study examined participants aged 25-42 at the start of the study, and these were tracked 6-20 years after the study began – each of them were followed up every 2 years. Their blood pressure and PMS status were ascertained before the study.

Health researchers were able to establish from studies and trials that women with PMS are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure within 20 years from the time of diagnosis while women with little or no symptoms of the syndrome may not be exposed to such later risks.

Meanwhile, heart diseases and strokes result from high blood pressure; so an effective treatment for high blood pressure would reduce the likelihood of developing heart conditions and associated strokes.

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Lead study author Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, an epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, disclosed that this study is the largest study ever undertaken to study the risks of PMS and health conditions that might develop later in life; adding that it is also the largest study ever to suggest that PMS is linked to debilitating health conditions as the patient ages.

The researchers ultimately found a considerable link between under-40 women with PMS and high blood pressure; finding that PMS women within this age bracket had more hypertension incidents than others within the group.

According to Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women’s Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City (she was not part of the study), high blood pressure screening should be done for women with PMS since hypertension is fast rising in very young women nowadays.


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