WEDNESDAY, March 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Childhood body size is associated with risk of premenstrual disorders (PMDs) and premenstrual symptoms in young adulthood, according to a study published online March 8 in JAMA Network Open.

Donghao Lu, M.D., Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the association between childhood and adolescent body size and risk of PMDs in young adulthood. Analysis included 6,524 U.S. female participants (mean age, 26 years) from the Growing Up Today Study (1996 to 2013).

The researchers found that higher baseline body mass index (BMI) reported at a mean age of 12.7 years was associated with increased risk of PMDs (confounding-adjusted relative risk, 1.09 per unit of z score) and higher burden of premenstrual symptoms. For premenstrual dysphoric disorder and PMDs with symptom onset <20 years of age, associations were particularly pronounced and remained in the absence of psychiatric comorbidities. Individuals with high BMI throughout adolescence had a higher burden of premenstrual symptoms versus individuals with normal BMI throughout adolescence. However, individuals with high BMI early followed by a mild decrease later did not report higher premenstrual symptoms.

“It is therefore possible that childhood adiposity affects PMD development through chronic inflammation,” the authors write.

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