Women who suffer migraines are more likely to develop depression than those who don’t, a new study has found.
To reach their conclusions, Boston researchers tracked the experiences of 36,154 women enrolled in the long-running Women's Health Study. Women were classified as either having experienced migraine problems or no history of migraine. Women also provided information about diagnoses of depression.
Of 6,456 women who had current or past migraine problems, 3,971 developed depression during a 14-year period of followup, the researchers reported. Women who had experienced migraines were about 40 percent more likely to develop depression than those with no history.
"This is one of the first large studies to examine the association between migraine and the development of depression over time," said Dr. Tobias Kurth, with Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "We hope our findings will encourage doctors to speak to their migraine patients about the risk of depression and potential ways to prevent depression."
The study’s findings are to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April.