WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Some modifiable risk factors are associated with menstrual symptoms, according to a review published online Dec. 29 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Risa Mitsuhashi, from the University of Tsukuba in Japan, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to identify factors associated with the prevalence and severity of menstrual-related symptoms.

Based on 77 included studies, the researchers identified eight factors associated with primary dysmenorrhea (PD): age 20 years and older (odds ratio [OR], 1.18), body mass index (BMI) greater than 18.5 kg/m2 (OR, 1.51), longer menstrual periods (OR, 0.16), irregular menstrual cycle (OR, 1.28), family history of PD (OR, 3.80), stress (OR, 1.88), sleeping less than seven hours (OR, 1.19), and bedtime after 11 p.m. (OR, 1.30). Severity of PD (moderate versus severe) was associated with BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2 (OR, 1.89) and smoking (OR, 1.94). For mild versus severe PD and prevalence of premenstrual syndrome, there was an association with BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2 (OR, 1.91) and smoking (OR, 1.86).

“The identified risk factors could be utilized to construct an appropriate strategy to improve menstrual symptoms and support women’s health,” the authors write.

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