October 17, 2013
Science Daily/University of Toronto
The prevalence of depression among those with migraine is approximately twice as high as for those without the disease (men: 8.4% vs. 3.4%; women 12.4% vs. 5.7%), according to a new study
The study also investigated the relationship between migraine and suicidal ideation. For both men and women, those with migraines were much more likely to have "ever seriously considered suicide or taking (their) own life" than were those without migraines (men: 15.6% versus 7.9%; women: 17.6% versus 9.1%). Migraineurs under age 30 had four times the odds of lifetime suicidal ideation in comparison to migraineurs aged 65 and over. Other factors associated with suicidal ideation among those with migraines included unmarried status, lower household income and greater activity limitations.
Co-author and former graduate student Meghan Schrumm commented "We are not sure why younger migraineurs have such a high likelihood of depression and suicidal ideation. 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 much lower prevalence of depression and suicidal ideation among older migraineurs suggests a promising area for future research."