A new study has said that teens who suffer from migraine headaches are more likely to get lower grades than those without the terribly painful condition. Such adolescents are also less likely to graduate from high school, or attend college.
Conducted by Joseph Sabia, a professor of Public Policy at American University's School of Public Affairs, and Daniel Rees, a professor of Economics at the University of Colorado Denver, the study is the first to have examined effect of migraine in teens on future academic achievement.
"We know that migraine headaches can profoundly impact quality of life. Our study offers evidence that they are an important obstacle to long-term academic success. Our results show that migraine sufferers have trouble attending school and have trouble concentrating on the days they do make it to school," said Sabia.
Scientists examined data on sibling pairs from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
They examined the migraine experiences and high school grades of 214 siblings from 105 families.
Information on high school completion and college attendance data was obtained from 280 siblings belonging to 137 families.
Parental reports identified siblings raised in the same household with different migraine experiences.
"By focusing on differences between siblings, we can rule out the possibility that family- level factors such as socioeconomic status are driving the relationship between migraine headache and academic performance," said Rees.
It was found that suffering from migraine headaches was linked with a 5 percent reduction in high school GPA, a 5 percent reduction in the likelihood of graduating from high school, and a 15 percent reduction in the likelihood of attending college.
Thirty to 40 percent of these reductions could be attributed to excused absences from school, difficulty paying attention in class, and difficulty completing homework.
Non-migraine headaches were not associated with reductions in academic performance.
The results were presented at the 84th Annual Conference of the Western Economic Association International in Vancouver, British Columbia.