Migraine symptomatology and major depressive disorder

Ligthart, L., Penninx, B.W., Nyholt, D.R., Distel, M.A., de Geus, E.J., Willemsen, G., Smit, J.H., & Boomsma, D.I. (2010) Migraine symptomatology and major depressive disorder. Cephalalgia, 30(9), pp. 1073-1081.

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Migraine and major depressive disorder (MDD) frequently co-occur, but it is unclear whether depression is associated with a specific subtype of migraine. The objective of this study was to investigate whether migraine is qualitatively different in MDD patients (N = 1816) and non-depressed controls (N = 3428).


Migraine symptom data were analyzed using multi-group Latent Class Analysis, and a qualitative comparison was made between the symptom profiles of MDD patients and controls, while allowing for differences in migraine prevalence and severity between groups.


In both groups, three migrainous headache classes were identified, which differed primarily in terms of severity. Both mild and severe migrainous headaches were two to three times more prevalent in MDD patients. Migraine symptom profiles showed only minor qualitative differences in the MDD and non-MDD groups: in the severe migrainous headache class, significant differences were observed only in the prevalence of aggravation by physical activity (83% and 91% for the non-MDD and MDD groups, respectively) and aura (42% vs. 53%, respectively).


The similar overall symptom profiles observed in the MDD and non-MDD subjects suggest that a similar disease process may underlie migraine in both groups.

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ID Code: 91979
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Adult, Comorbidity, Depressive Disorder, Major/*epidemiology, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Migraine Disorders/*epidemiology/*physiopathology, Netherlands/epidemiology, Prevalence, Registries, *Severity of Illness Index
DOI: 10.1177/0333102410363492
ISSN: 1468-2982
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 18 Jan 2016 23:17
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2016 02:51

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