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Migraines linked to higher risk of suicide among young adults

Migraines linked to higher risk of suicide among young adults

Teenagers who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines have a greater risk of suicide and psychiatric disorders, a recent study found.
Researchers in Taiwan found that nearly half the teenagers who suffered from chronic daily headaches had at least one psychiatric disorder, with 21 percent having major depression and 19 percent having panic disorder.
Twenty percent of the teenagers with chronic headaches were deemed to have a high risk of suicide.
"These numbers are much higher than those reported among the general population of teens of the same ages in Taiwan," said study author Shuu-Jiun Wang of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine in Taipei.
Teens who suffered from migraines were 3.5 times more likely to have a psychiatric disorder, the researchers found.
Those whose migraines were preceded by a warming sensation, or aura, were six times more likely to have a high risk of suicide than those who did not get migraines.
While migraines, depression and the tendency toward suicide are related to problems with the levels of serotonin in the brain, scientists have not yet determined how they are linked.
However, these results show that parents and doctors should monitor teens with chronic headaches, researchers said.
"Teens with chronic daily headache should be screened for psychiatric disorders so they can get the treatment and help they need," Wang said.
Wang and his colleagues surveyed 7,900 students aged 12 to 14 at five middle schools in Taiwan.
Of those, 121 were diagnosed with chronic daily headaches, which is defined as headaches which last two or more hours and occur 15 or more days per month for more than three months.
The study was published in the May 1 edition of Neurology.


Updated : 2021-06-24 16:32 GMT+08:00