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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2009 Jan-Feb;31(1):14-9. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2008.09.006. Epub 2008 Oct 9.

The relationship between migraine and mental disorders in a population-based sample.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3E 3N4.



There is emerging evidence from clinical and community samples to suggest that migraines are associated with mental disorders. The present study utilized a large population-based sample to investigate the association between physician-diagnosed migraine and mental disorders.


Data were from the German Health Survey conducted between 1997 and 1999 (N=4181, response rate 61.4%, age 18-65 years). Lifetime and 12-month history of migraines were assessed by self-report and by a physician. Past 12-month DSM-IV mental disorders were assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.


After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, past-year migraine was significantly and positively associated with depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, panic disorder, agoraphobia and simple phobia [adjusted odds ratios (AOR) ranging from 1.74 to 3.21]. After additionally adjusting for other mental disorders, any anxiety disorder (AOR=1.82) and any mood disorder (AOR=1.61) remained significantly associated with past-year migraine.


Although causal inferences cannot be made due to the cross-sectional nature of the data, the present study adds to a growing body of literature that suggests a strong association between migraines and mood and anxiety disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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