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Negative affect is unrelated to fluctuations in hormone levels across the menstrual cycle: Evidence from a multisite observational study across two successive cycles


Hengartner, Michael P; Kruger, Tillmann H C; Geraedts, Kirsten; Tronci, Enrico; Mancini, Toni; Ille, Fabian; Egli, Marcel; Röblitz, Susanna; Ehrig, Rainald; Saleh, Lanja; Spanaus, Katharina; Schippert, Cordula; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Leeners, Brigitte (2017). Negative affect is unrelated to fluctuations in hormone levels across the menstrual cycle: Evidence from a multisite observational study across two successive cycles. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 99:21-27.

Abstract

Background Female sex hormones may play a crucial role in the occurrence of cycle-related mood disorders. However, the literature is inconsistent and methodologically stringent observational studies on the relationship between sex hormones and negative affect are lacking. Methods In this longitudinal multisite study from Hannover, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, we examined oestrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone serum levels in association with negative affect as measured with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Negative affect and hormone assays were collected at four consecutive time points comprising menstrual, pre-ovulatory, mid-luteal and premenstrual phase across two cycles (n = 87 and n = 67 for the first and second cycles). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was assessed once prior to the first cycle and included as a secondary measure. Results Mean negative affect scores did not significantly fluctuate across both cycles and there was in particular no symptom increase premenstrually. No sex hormone consistently related to repeated measures of negative affect across two consecutive cycles. The BDI sum-score assessed at baseline was not related to hormone levels across the first cycle. Conclusions This is the first multisite longitudinal study on the association between negative affect and sex hormone levels encompassing two consecutive menstrual cycles. Negative affect did not fluctuate across the cycle and there was no direct and uniform association between sex hormones and self-reported negative affect. These findings suggest that moderators such as personality traits and epigenetics should be considered in future research.

Abstract

Background Female sex hormones may play a crucial role in the occurrence of cycle-related mood disorders. However, the literature is inconsistent and methodologically stringent observational studies on the relationship between sex hormones and negative affect are lacking. Methods In this longitudinal multisite study from Hannover, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, we examined oestrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and testosterone serum levels in association with negative affect as measured with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Negative affect and hormone assays were collected at four consecutive time points comprising menstrual, pre-ovulatory, mid-luteal and premenstrual phase across two cycles (n = 87 and n = 67 for the first and second cycles). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was assessed once prior to the first cycle and included as a secondary measure. Results Mean negative affect scores did not significantly fluctuate across both cycles and there was in particular no symptom increase premenstrually. No sex hormone consistently related to repeated measures of negative affect across two consecutive cycles. The BDI sum-score assessed at baseline was not related to hormone levels across the first cycle. Conclusions This is the first multisite longitudinal study on the association between negative affect and sex hormone levels encompassing two consecutive menstrual cycles. Negative affect did not fluctuate across the cycle and there was no direct and uniform association between sex hormones and self-reported negative affect. These findings suggest that moderators such as personality traits and epigenetics should be considered in future research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Clinical Chemistry
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reproductive Endocrinology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:24 May 2017
Deposited On:02 Feb 2018 12:33
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 10:51
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3999
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.05.018
PubMed ID:28712426

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