Witnessing parental domestic violence linked to migraine

The more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine


Ians June 26, 2015
The more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine. PHOTO: INDIATIMES

Exposure to childhood adversity, including parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse increases the odds of experiencing migraine headaches in adulthood, says a new study.

"The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines," said study co-author Esme Fuller-Thomson, professor at University of Toronto.

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"Even after accounting for variables including age, race, socioeconomic status, history of depression and anxiety, and childhood physical and sexual abuse, men and women who had witnessed parental domestic violence had 52 per cent and 64 per cent higher odds of migraine, respectively, compared to those without such a history ," Fuller-Thomson said.

For the study, the researchers examined a sample of 12,638 women and 10,358 men aged 18 and over from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health.

For those who reported all three types of adversities -- parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse -- the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women, said first author of the study Sarah Brennenstuhl from University of Toronto in Canada.

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"We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine," Brennenstuhl said.

The study was published online this in the journal Headache.

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