A new study has pointed out that any form of child abuse be it emotional, physical or sexual, ups the risk of suffering chronic migraine in adulthood.
Using data from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study of 17,337 adult members of the Kaiser Health Plan in San Diego, Gretchen E. Tietjen, of the University of Toledo College Of Medicine, and her team found that the number of ACEs showed a graded relationship to the likelihood of experiencing frequent headaches.
"We looked at eight ACEs-emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, witnessing domestic violence, growing up with mental illness in the home, having household members who were incarcerated or were abusing drugs, and experiencing parental separation or divorce," said Dr. Tietjen.
"Each ACE increased the chance of frequent headache, and as the number of ACEs increased, so did the risk of frequent headache. This 'dose-response' relationship' suggests that ACEs may contribute to the development and frequency of severe headaches later in life," Dr. Tietjen added.
David Dodick, president of the AHS, said: "Earlier studies have linked childhood maltreatment to frequent headaches and migraine."
"The biological underpinnings of this relationship should be a target of future research and clinicians should be aware of and evaluate for this important relationship in order to facilitate appropriate management strategies," he added.
The data has been presented at the American Headache Society's 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles this week.