Depression Twice as Likely in Migraine Sufferers

Friday, 18 Oct 2013 04:23 PM

By Nick Tate

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People who get migraine headaches are twice as likely to suffer depression, according to new research that suggests the conditions may have a common link.
 
The study, published in the journal Depression Research and Treatment by University of Toronto researchers, found younger migraine sufferers were particularly at risk for depression. Women with migraines who were younger than 30 were six times as likely to suffer depression as those 65 and over who get the headaches, said lead researcher Esme Fuller-Thomson.
 
Unmarried individuals and migraine sufferers who had difficulties with daily activities also had high odds of depression, based on the study of more than 67,000 Canadians.

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The researchers noted women are much more likely to suffer migraines than men — one in every seven women, compared to one in every 16 men. But the study results showed both men and women with migraines are likely to have "seriously considered suicide or taking [their] own life" than were those without migraines (men: 15.6 percent versus 7.9 percent; women: 17.6 percent versus 9.1 percent).
 
"[The study] draws further attention to the need for routine screening and targeted interventions for depression and suicidality, particularly among the most vulnerable migraineurs: Individuals who are young, unmarried and those with activity limitations," said Dr. Fuller-Thomson.

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