Press Release - Feb 23, 2012Migraine Linked to Increased Risk of Depression in Women
New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) suggests that women who suffer from migraines or have had them in the past are at an increased risk for developing depression when compared to women who have never had a migraine. The study findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting, April 21 to April 28.
"Our study is one of the first with extensive follow up to examine the potential link between migraine and the development of depression," said Tobias Kurth, MD, ScD, a neuroepidemiologist at BWH. "We hope these findings will encourage doctors and patients who suffer from migraines to have a dialogue about the risk of depression and opportunities for prevention."
Researchers analyzed data from 36,154 participants in the Women's Health Study who did not have depression and who had provided information about their migraine history. Women were categorized as either having active migraine with aura, active migraine without aura, past history of migraine or no history of migraine. Information about depression diagnoses was also included. Of those participants, 6,456 women reported suffering from current or past migraine. Over a 14 year follow-up period, 3,971 of the women developed depression.
Researchers report that women with any history of migraine were about 40 percent more likely to develop depression compared to women without a history of migraine. Additionally, women with a past history of migraine had 1.41 times the risk of developing depression.
The study was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute.
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