Posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma characteristics are correlates of premenstrual dysphoric disorder

  • Corey E. PilverEmail author
  • Becca R. Levy
  • Daniel J. Libby
  • Rani A. Desai
Original Article


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often comorbid with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in women; however, it is unclear whether this relationship is driven by the trauma that may lead to PTSD or if PTSD is uniquely associated with PMDD. In this study, we examine trauma and PTSD as independent correlates of PMDD. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional, secondary data analysis of 3,968 female participants (aged 18–40) of the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys. Women who had a history of trauma with PTSD (odds ratio, OR = 8.14, 95% confidence interval, CI = 3.56–18.58) or a history of trauma without PTSD (OR = 2.84, 95% CI = 1.26–6.42) were significantly more likely than women with no history of trauma to report PMDD. This graded relationship was also observed in association with premenstrual symptoms. Among trauma survivors, PTSD was independently associated with PMDD, although characteristics of participants' trauma history partially accounted for this association. Our study demonstrated that trauma and PTSD were independently associated with PMDD and premenstrual symptoms. Clinicians should be aware that women who present with premenstrual symptomatology complaints may also have a history of trauma and PTSD that needs to be addressed. This pattern of comorbidity may complicate the treatment of both conditions.


Posttraumatic stress disorder Trauma Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Epidemiology Mental health 



This research was funded by the National Institute on Aging grant 5T32 AG000153 (CEP) as well as the Office of Academic Affiliations, Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment, Department of Veterans Affairs (DJL).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Corey E. Pilver
    • 1
  • Becca R. Levy
    • 2
  • Daniel J. Libby
    • 3
  • Rani A. Desai
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.VA CT Healthcare System, National Center for PTSDWest HavenUSA
  2. 2.Yale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.VISN 1 MIRECCVA CT Healthcare SystemWest HavenUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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