Premenstrual symptoms and luteal suicide attempts

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Abstract.

Objective:

If premenstrual symptoms (PMS) are temporally and specifically associated with suicidal attempts, suicide attempts in women with PMS should occur more frequently in the luteal phase.

Method:

In a general hospital, 125 fertile female suicide attempters (and 83 blood donors as controls) with regular menstrual cycles were prospectively studied. A retrospective DSM-IV diagnosis of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) was made.

Results:

Attempts during the luteal phase were not more frequent in females with PMDD (34%,23/68) than in those without PMDD (35%, 20/57). The sample had enough power to detect medium and large effect sizes. As expected, there was a significantly higher frequency of PMDD in suicide attempters than in the controls (54% vs 6%; Fisher’s exact test, p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusion:

This study was limited by the use of retrospective PMDD diagnosis but suggests that PMDD may not be associated with suicidal acts during the luteal phase,when PMS are present.