Biological correlates of abuse in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder and healthy controls.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To examine the biological correlates associated with histories of sexual or physical abuse in women meeting DSM criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and in healthy, non-PMDD controls. METHODS: Twenty-eight women with prospectively confirmed PMDD were compared with 28 non-PMDD women for cardiovascular and neuroendocrine measures at rest and in response to mental stressors, and for beta-adrenergic receptor responsivity, during both the follicular and luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Structured interview was used to assess psychiatric history and prior sexual and physical abuse experiences. All subjects were free of current psychiatric comorbidity and medication use. RESULTS: More PMDD women had prior sexual and physical abuse experiences than controls (20 vs. 10, respectively). Relative to nonabused PMDD women, PMDD women with prior abuse (sexual or physical) exhibited significantly lower resting norepinephrine (NE) levels and significantly greater beta1- and beta2-adrenoceptor responsivity and greater luteal phase NE reactivity to mental stress. For non-PMDD control women, abuse was associated with blunted cortisol, cardiac output, and heart rate reactivity to mental stress relative to nonabused controls. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this initial study suggest that a history of prior abuse is associated with alterations in physiological reactivity to subsequent mental stress in women, but that the biological correlates of abuse may be different for PMDD vs. non-PMDD women.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Girdler, SS; Sherwood, A; Hinderliter, AL; Leserman, J; Costello, NL; Straneva, PA; Pedersen, CA; Light, KC

Published Date

  • 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 65 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 849 - 856

PubMed ID

  • 14508031

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1534-7796

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States