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First Published Friday, 3 April 2009


Migraines

Br J Psychiatry. 2009;194:350-354


Migraine in recurrent depression: case-control study


Samaan Z, Farmer A, Craddock N, Jones L, Korszun A, Owen M, McGuffin P.


Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK; Department of Behavioural Neurosciences, Mood Disorders Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK; Division of Neuroscience, University of Birmingham, UK; Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK


Declaration of interest: M.O. and N.C. have acted as consultants to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and have received honoraria for academic talks from Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca and GSK. A.K. has received research grants from GSK and Sanofi-Synthelabo and has received honoraria from Eli Lilly. A.F. has received honoraria for presentations and chairing meetings from Eli Lilly, GSK and Wyeth, and has acted as a consultant for GSK. P.M. has received honoraria from Eli Lilly and GSK, and has acted as a consultant in the recent past for GSK and AstraZeneca.


Funding: The study was funded by the [British] Medical Research Council.


Background: An association between depression and headache is well established, but the specificity to migraine is unclear.


Aims: To investigate the specificity of the association of depression and migraine.


Method: People with recurrent depression (n=1259) were compared with psychiatrically healthy controls (n=851) to investigate headache defined according to International Headache Society criteria in each group.


Results: All headache types were more prevalent in the case group than in the controls. However, the strongest association was between depression and migraine with aura (OR=5.6). Among participants with recurrent headaches, migraine with aura (but not other forms of headache) was highly significantly associated with depression.


Conclusions: The data suggest that not only is there a general relationship between headache and depression but also that among people with recurrent headache there is a specific association between depression and migraine with aura. The association is likely to be explained by overlapping aetiological risk factors.


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