Further evidence on the link between migraine and neuroticism

Naomi Breslau, Howard D. Chilcoat, Patricia Andreski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated an association between migraine and neuroticism. In this report, we examine prospectively whether higher levels of neuroticism, measured at baseline by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, signaled increased risk for first incidence of migraine during a 5-year follow-up interval. The sample was randomly selected from the list of young adult members of a large Health Maintenance Organization in southeast Michigan. Follow-up data were available on 972 subjects, 97.2% of the initial sample. Neuroticism predicted the first incidence of migraine in females. The relative risk for migraine in females scoring in the highest quartile of the neuroticism scales versus the lowest quartile was 4.0 (95% Cl 1.6, 10.3). Controlling for history of major depression and anxiety disorders at baseline reduced the estimate to 2.9 (95% Cl 1.1, 7.7). Neuroticism did not predict migraine in males, although the results in males were limited greatly by the small number of incidence cases. Neuroticism might be causally related to migraine, or alternatively, might be an early correlate with shared etiologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-667
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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