Study Links Smoking to PMS in Women

Women smokers between 27 and 44 years old, twice as likely to develop PMS

Women between the ages of 27 and 44 years old who smoke are twice as likely to develop PMS, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The researchers found that smoking can alter levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, which can be linked to the development of PMS.

The researchers in the study analyzed data from the Nurses' Health Study II, which has been following 116,678 registered nurses since 1989.

The researchers looked at a group of women who were PMS-free during the first two years of the study, comparing 1,057 who did go on to develop PMS to 1,968 who did not.

Those who were current smokers were 2.1 times as likely as non-smokers to report PMS within the next two to four years. The risk increased with the amount they smoked, and women who had started lighting up before the age of 15 were at an even greater risk.

Some studies have found that smokers have shorter and more irregular menstrual cycles than non-smokers.

Dr. LeAnn Haddock, an OBGYN at Baylor University Medical Center says she sees it in her practice often.

"Most women who do smoke start to see irregularity in periods which do cause PMS symptoms. Bloating, breast changes irregular periods. It definitely seems to go hand in hand," she said. "Hands down, don't smoke. Work hard to quit and talk with your physician about ways to stop smoking. You may be able to prevent something plus all the other risk factors."

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