A CME Journal For Family Physicians

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Migraine Frequency Linked to Anxiety, Depression

Patients who experience freq-uent migraines also experience more severe depression and anxiety symptoms, according to a recent study.
The cross-sectio-nal study included 588 patients from an outpatient clinic in Taiwan. Patients were stratified based on their migraine frequency in a month (1-4 headache days, 5 to 8 headache days, 9 to 14 headache days, or more than 14 headache days). Demographic and clinical data, including sleep characteristics, were collected. In addition, depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed using the Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Subscales (HADS).
Overall, the researchers observed a positive association between migraine frequency and BDI scores. The highest total BDI scores were among patients with chronic migraines, followed by those with high frequency, medium frequency, and low frequency migraines. A control group of patients without migraines had the lowest BDI scores. Additionally, these results were similar in analyses of migraine frequency and HADS scores. Both scores were independently associated with high-frequency episodic and chronic migraine frequency, as well as poor sleep.
In addition, this relationship was present among patients with and without auras.
“Higher migraine frequency, either with or without auras, correlated with higher symptom scores of anxiety and depression,” the researchers concluded.

REFERENCE:
Chu HT, Liang CS, Lee JT, et al. Associations between depression/anxiety and headache frequency in migraineurs: a cross-sectional study [published online October 18, 2017]. Headache. doi:10.1111/head.13215.

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