Emotional Abuse in Childhood May Mean Migraine Later
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 08:10 AM

News Bite:  Emotional abuse during childhood precedes onset of migraine in 83% of cases.  Migraineurs also reported significantly higher rates of childhood abuse overall than respondents who reported no migraine. Data continue to amass demonstrating the heartbreaking, wide-ranging negative physical, psychological, and social consequences of childhood abuse and maltreatment. Clinicians treating adults with migraine and other forms of severe headache must recognize that a history of childhood abuse can interfere with treatment.

 


Emotional abuse during childhood packs more of a wallop than physical or even sexual abuse when it comes to increasing odds of migraine later in life, researchers said.  Analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health showed that emotional abuse was more strongly associated with migraine in young adults than physical abuse or sexual abuse. They demonstrated that onset of emotional abuse precedes onset of migraine in 83% of cases.  The association between migraine and emotional abuse remained even after controlling for lifetime diagnosis of depression and anxiety and for current depression. 

The data support a relationship of migraine and emotional abuse, which is independent of, although attenuated by, both depression and anxiety, in over two-thirds of participants the diagnosis of migraine either preceded or was concomitant with the diagnoses of depression and anxiety suggests that adjustment for depression and anxiety may be an overcorrection.

Migraineurs also reported significantly higher rates of childhood abuse overall than respondents who reported no migraine (60.6% versus 48.9%). Childhood abuse included emotional (57.8% versus 45.4%), sexual (8.4% versus 4.6%), and physical (22.4% versus 17.9%) abuse.  The mean age of diagnosis of migraine was 19 years while the mean age of onset of abuse was 11 years.

Data continue to amass demonstrating the heartbreaking, wide-ranging negative physical, psychological, and social consequences of childhood abuse and maltreatment. The study also “adds a new dimension to the literature by reporting that emotional abuse during childhood contributed more than physical or sexual abuse to adult migraine.”

Clinicians treating adults with migraine and other forms of severe headache must recognize that a history of childhood abuse can interfere with treatment.

Clinicians should ask patients with migraine about a history of abuse. Validated screening instruments such as the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Questionnaire acestoohigh.org and the The Primary Care-PTSD Screening Tool (PC-PTSD) can be used to “quickly and discretely screen for childhood maltreatment and PTSD and start the discussion.” 


Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/clinical-context/Migraines/62134