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About 29 percent of women experience severe menstrual pain. While smoking has been suspected as a risk factor for severe menstrual pain, the evidence has been inconclusive, the authors of the new study said.
Current smokers who started smoking by age 13 were more likely to have chronic, severe menstrual pain, as were women who were unemployed, began having their periods at a younger age, were obese and spoke a European language at home.
When the investigators took other factors into account, they concluded that current smokers who started smoking by age 13 were 60 percent more likely to have chronic, severe menstrual pain than nonsmokers.
The study was published online Nov. 17 in the journal Tobacco Control.
Dr. Hong Ju, of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues pointed out in a journal news release that because this was an observational study, no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. However, there are possible explanations for the association, the authors suggested.
-- Robert Preidt
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