Migraine and despair: Depression twice as likely in migraine sufferers

Researchers from the University of Toronto have found that the prevalence of depression and suicidal thoughts in individuals who suffer from migraines is significantly higher. […]

Researchers from the University of Toronto have found that the prevalence of depression and suicidal thoughts in individuals who suffer from migraines is significantly higher. A large scale study analysed the data from a representative sample of over 67,000 Canadians reported in a 2005 survey. Researchers investigated the association of migraine with depression and suicidal thoughts.

It was found that around 9% of the participants reported a migraine diagnosis, occurring at a much higher frequency in females to males (14% to 6%). The analysis showed that depression was twice as common in participants that reported migraines, than those that did not. The study also found that sufferers of migraines are more likely to have seriously considered suicide.

An interesting finding within the results was that migraine sufferers under the age of 30 had a four times the probability of suicide ideation to migraine suffers aged 65 and over. Lower household income, unmarried status, and increased activity limitations were also associated with suicide ideation. Co-author Meghan Schrumm speculated that “It may be that younger people with migraines have not yet managed to find adequate treatment or develop coping mechanisms to minimize pain and the impact of this chronic illness on the rest of their lives.”

The lead author, Dr. Fuller-Thomson adds that this study “draws further attention to the need for routine screening and targeted interventions for depression and suicidality, particularly among the most vulnerable migraineurs.”

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/drt/2013/401487/

Rakesh Dodhia

About Rakesh Dodhia

Rakesh is a 3rd year Biomedical Scientist at Lady Margaret Hall.