Published Papers - Abstract 819

Ju H, Jones M & Mishra GD. A U-shaped relationship between body mass index and dysmenorrhea: A longitudinal study. PLoS One, 2015; 10(7): e0134187

Background: Both obesity and dysmenorrhea are prevalent among women. Few population-based longitudinal studies investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) and dysmenorrhea yielding mixed results, especially for obesity. This study aims to investigate the long-term association between BMI and dysmenorrhea.Methods: 9,688 women from a prospective population-based cohort study were followed for 13 years. Data were collected through self-reported questionnaires. The longitudinal association between dysmenorrhea and BMI or BMI change was investigated by logistic regression analysis using generalized estimating equations to account for the repeated measures.Results: When the women were aged 22 to 27 years, approximately 11% were obese, 7% underweight, and 25% reported dysmenorrhea. Compared to women with a normal weight, significantly higher odds of reporting dysmenorrhea were detected for both women who were underweight (odds ratio (OR) 1.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15, 1.57) and obese (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.11, 1.35). Compared to women who remained at normal weight or overweight over time, significant risk was detected for women who: remained underweight or obese (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.20, 1.48), were underweight despite weight gain (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.12, 1.58), became underweight (OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.02, 1.61). However the higher risk among obese women disappeared when they lost weight (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.85, 1.32).Conclusions: A U-shaped association was revealed between dysmenorrhea and BMI, revealing a higher risk of dysmenorrhea for both underweight and obese women. Maintaining a healthy weight over time may be important for women to have pain-free periods.

Open Access Article