Younger migraine sufferers more likely to have depression

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Younger migraine sufferers more likely to have depression

According to new research, more than eight per cent of men with migraines suffer from depression.


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Published: Sat 19 Oct 2013, 9:56 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:37 PM

TORONTO - People who suffer from migraines are roughly twice as likely to suffer from depression, according to new research.

Researchers at the University of Toronto found that younger migraine sufferers were particularly at greater risk of depression.

The report, which was published this week in the journal Depression Research and Treatment, revealed that more than eight per cent of men with migraines suffer from depression, compared to just over three per cent of men without migraines.

Researchers also found that more than 12 per cent of female migraine-sufferers experience depression, compared to less than six percent of women who do not have migraines.

Individuals with migraines, who are younger than 30, are six times likely to suffer from depression in comparison to sufferers who are aged 65 and over, said lead author of the research report, Esme Fuller-Thomson of the Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair of University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

“We are not sure why younger migraineurs have such a high likelihood of depression and suicidal ideation,” co-author and former graduate student Meghan Schrumm said.

“The much lower prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation among older migraineurs suggests a promising area for future research,” Schrumm added.

Data drawn from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, a representative sample, of more than 67,000 Canadians, were used to examine gender-specific associations between migraine and depression.

More than 6,000 respondents reported that they had been diagnosed by a health professional with migraines.

Consistent with prior research, the prevalence of migraines was much higher in women than men, with one in every seven women, compared to one in every 16 men, reporting that they had migraines.

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