A retrospective, comparative study on the frequency of abuse in migraine and chronic daily headache

B. Lee Peterlin, Thomas Ward, Jeffrey Lidicker, Morris Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective. - To assess and contrast the relative frequency of a past history of physical and/or sexual abuse in patients with chronic daily headache (CDH) versus migraine. Background. - A number of risk factors have been identified as risk factors for chronification of headache disorders. Limited data exist regarding the influence of physical and/or sexual abuse on primary headache disorders. Methods. - This was a retrospective chart review of 183 consecutive new headache patients seen from December 2004 through August 2005 at an outpatient tertiary-care center. Patients were included in the study if they had chronic daily headache (with criteria for medication over-use headache or chronic migraine), or migraine with or without aura. A history of physical and/or sexual abuse was systematically asked of all headache patients at their first visit in the clinic. This information was then transferred to a semi-standardized form and the relative frequency of abuse in both groups contrasted. Results. - Of the 161 patients included in the study, 90.1% were female with a mean age of 36.4 ± 12.0. A total of 59.0% of the patients were diagnosed with CDH and 41.0% were diagnosed with migraine. Overall, 34.8% of all patients, 40.0% of CDH patients, and 27.3% of migraine patients had a history of physical and/or sexual abuse. The relative frequency of a history of physical and/or sexual abuse was higher in the CDH group as compared to the migraine group (P =.048). Conclusion. - The relative frequency of abuse is higher in CDH sufferers than migraineurs, suggesting that physical and sexual abuse may be risk factors for chronification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-401
Number of pages5
JournalHeadache
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

Keywords

  • Abuse
  • Chronic daily headache
  • Headache chronification
  • Migraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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