Women With Migraine Have Increased Risk of Depression

Risk increased for migraine, with or without aura, and for current or past history of migraine

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Women with current or past history of migraine, with or without aura, are at increased risk for developing depression, according to a study being released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 21 to 28 in New Orleans.

Pamela Rist, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study among 36,154 women to investigate the relationship between migraine and incident depression. The women provided information about migraine status at baseline, did not have a history of depression before baseline, and provided information about depression diagnoses during follow-up. Women were classified as having active migraine, with or without aura; past history of migraine; or no history of migraine.

The investigators found that 6,456 women had current or past migraine at baseline, including 1,815 (28.1 percent) with active migraine with aura. There were 3,971 incident cases of depression during a mean follow-up of 14.3 years. Compared with women without a history of migraine, women with a history of any migraine had a significantly increased relative risk for developing depression (relative risk [RR], 1.36). This association was not modified by the presence of migraine with aura (RR for migraine with aura, 1.43; RR for migraine without aura, 1.29). Women with a past history of migraine also had an increased risk of developing depression (RR, 1.41).

"This is one of the first large studies to examine the association between migraine and the development of depression over time," a co-author said in a statement. "We hope our findings will encourage doctors to speak to their migraine patients about the risk of depression and potential ways to prevent depression."

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