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Childhood Abuse Related to Migraine Later in Life: Study

Childhood abuse or neglect is likely to lead to migraine headaches as adults, says a study from Johns Hopkins University.

Steven Hogg, News Everyday, Dec 26, 2014

 "Childhood maltreatment can have long-lasting effects, like associated medical and psychological conditions including migraine in adulthood," study author Dawn Buse, director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City, said in a news release.

Study participants included  8,300 people with migraines and more than 1,400 with tension headaches. They were questioned on abuse in childhood, which could be physical, emotional or just neglect

Emotional abuse was reported by 24.5 percent of those with migraines and 21.5 percent of those with tension headaches.

The study found that participants who reported suffering emotional abuse before 18 years were one-third more likely to have migraines than tension headaches.  People who suffered two of the three listed abuse were 5 percent more likely to suffer from migraine headaches.

Although the study found a link between abuse and migraine, it did not prove that abuse could cause the headaches.

"When managing patients with migraine, neurologists should take childhood maltreatment into consideration," said Buse, who is also an associate professor in clinical neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

 In 2009, the U.S. Health And Human Services Child Protective Services received more than 2 million reports of suspected child abuse. In that same year, it was estimated that 1,760 children died in the US due tochild abuse or neglect, according to the American Headache Society.

Experts says childhood neglect, abuse is related to increased comorbidities including headache, migraine, fibromyalgia, chronic pain conditions, cardiac conditions and psychological conditions and behavioral issues.

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