Study: Women Who Get Migraines Also at Greater Risk for Depression

by Chris Curley on February 27, 2012

For women, migraines and depression may go hand-in-hand, TIME reported Feb. 23.

Women who have ever had a migraine had a 36-percent greater chance of developing depression than women with no migraine history, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston find. Even women who stopped having migraines a year prior to the study were 41 percent more likely to develop depression.

Depression rates were the same regardless of the kinds of migraines women had, the researchers say. None of the 36,154 women surveyed had depression at the beginning of the study.

So, if you suffer from migraine pain, you and your doctor should keep an eye on your mental well-being, as well.

Around 29.5 million Americans suffer from migraines, and three-quarters of migrane sufferers are women, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to prescription medication, mindfulness and behavioral treatment may help ease migraine pain, studies have shown.

The study will be presented in April 2012 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans.

Reader Question: Do you get migraines? Do they make you depressed?

(Photo © Sasha W via Flickr)