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A team of epidemiologists and environmental medical specialists from Sweden, Iceland and the U.S. has found that women in Sweden living with a premenstrual disorder (PMD) are twice as likely to die by suicide than those without the disorder.

In their study, published in JAMA Network Open, the group analyzed data from multiple population registers in Sweden concerning women living with PMDs.
Prior research has suggested that the baseline duration of menstrual cycles is typically 23 to 38 days—adding up to approximately 480 periods over the course of a lifetime. Prior to the period is a span of time known as the premenstrual period, which typically lasts for about a week. Many women experience depression, anger, mood swings and anxiety during the premenstrual period—those with extreme symptoms are described as having a premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Prior research has shown that women who experience extreme PMDs are more likely to be injured in an accident and some work has suggested many experience an elevated risk of suicide. The research team investigated this risk by analyzing data in several population registers in Sweden and tracing mortality rates for 67,748 women who had been diagnosed with a PMD between the years 2001 to 2018.
In looking at the cause of death and comparing rates between women with a PMD and those who did not have one, they found that women with the disorder were more likely to die from non-natural causes and that they were on average twice as likely to commit suicide. Specifically, the researchers found an overall death rate of 8.4 deaths per 10,000 person-years among women with PMDs. Women with PMDs also had a higher risk of death due to non-natural causes, particularly suicide, with a hazard ratio of 1.92.
The research team did not attempt to find reasons for the higher risk of suicide but suggest that more research is required to find the cause and hopefully to find ways to reduce not only the outcome, but the reasons for suicides of women with PMDs.

More information:
Marion Opatowski et al, Mortality Risk Among Women With Premenstrual Disorders in Sweden, JAMA Network Open (2024). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13394

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Study of women in Sweden suggests those with premenstrual disorders twice as likely to die by suicide (2024, May 29)
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