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J R Soc Med. 1994 Jun;87(6):338-41.

Anxiety and depression in migraine.

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  • 1Department of General Practice, University of Manchester, UK.


The present study examined the prevalence and severity of anxiety and depression among people with migraine. To obtain a spectrum of migraine experience two potentially different samples were identified: over 600 patients attending migraine clinics and 87 migraine sufferers in the general population. International Headache Society criteria were used to establish the diagnosis of migraine. Anxiety and depression were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale and studies using this scale in other patient groups were identified for comparison. Approximately 50% of subjects experienced anxiety and 20% experienced depression, rates which were consistent across the two study groups. This prevalence of psychological morbidity is unexpectedly high and comparable to that measured in patients with other diseases. There is no evidence that it is correlated with frequency of migraine attacks. Anxiety and depression are common among people with migraine and remain largely unrecognized. Future studies should identify contributory factors.

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