According to a new study, women who are affected by symptoms of pre-menstrual sydrome (PMS) could face a 40 percent greater risk of developing hypertension compared to those who aren’t.

The study, made by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Harvard School of Public Health and called ‘Nurses Health Study II’, investigated 1,257 women with PMS and 2,463 women with light menstrual symptoms between 1991 and 2005.

Younger women with PMS had a three times higher risk of developing hypertension than those without PMS. Photo: Shutterstock.

Premenstrual syndrome has a wide variety of symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. It’s estimated that as many as three of every four menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome, as Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical research group, wrote on their official webpage.

The results show that women with meaningful PMS symptoms had a 1.4 danger ratio for hypertension. Even when researchers gave oral contraceptives and antidepressants to women who participated in the study, their risk of getting hypertension did not change.

“To my knowledge, this is the first large long-term study to suggest that PMS may be related to risk of chronic health conditions in later life. These results suggest that PMS might be associated with future development of hypertension and that this risk may be modifiable,” said Dr. Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who lead the study.

The study’s author said women with premenstrual syndrome should be screened for adverse changes in blood pressure and future risk of hypertension. According to the study, they found an association between women who had a high intake of thiamine and riboflavin and a lower risk of hypertension.

Thiamine and riboflavin are part of the vitamin B complex group. Women who took vitamin B had a 25 to 30 percent lower risk of having PMS. So, it is possible that women might reduce their menstrual symptoms and hypertension risk by increasing their vitamin B intake.

Authors controlled and studied recognized hypertension causes like body mass index, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, postmenopausal hormone use, familial history of hypertension and use of oral contraceptives. Risks of getting high blood pressure still remained.

Researchers also found that risks were more likely to be increased before the age of 40. Food such as oysters, beef, fish, fortified cereals, skim milk, cheese and eggs are rich sources of vitamin B, which is also used for boosting mood, energy, concentration and the immune system, as WebMD wrote on their webpage.

Source: Journal American Journal of Epidemiology