-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
WEDNESDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- New findings on the link
between migraine headaches and post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) suggest that sex differences play an important role in the
As individual health issues, both PTSD and migraine are more
common among women. However, the new study found that men with
migraines are four times more likely than women with migraines to
also have PTSD.
In addition, the investigators found that the type of trauma a
person experiences and when it happens to them also seems to affect
the sex differences in the migraine-PTSD connection, according to
the report published online June 1 in
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain.
The study authors noted that when a person faces a traumatic
life event before the age of 13, their risk of depression is
greater than their risk of developing PTSD. The opposite is true
when the traumatic life event occurs after 12 years of age, they
explained in a journal news release.
To support their finding that the type of trauma and age when it
occurred influences sex differences in the risk of developing PTSD,
the authors pointed out that children are most vulnerable to sexual
abuse under the age of 13. In contrast, car accidents and combat
trauma -- two of the most common traumas reported by people who
have migraines and PTSD -- typically happen to those older than
The researchers also noted that those who suffer from both PTSD
and migraines are also more likely to have headache-related
"The current data indicate that behavioral PTSD treatment alone can positively influence chronic pain conditions and disability. Therefore, physicians should consider screening migraine sufferers for PTSD, and men in particular. Further, in those migraineurs with PTSD, behavioral therapy should be considered, alone or in combination with pharmacological treatment," study author B. Lee Peterlin said in the news release.
The researchers suggested that additional study examining the
role of sex differences in the connection between PTSD and
migraines is needed to validate their findings and determine the
appropriate forms of treatment for those with both conditions.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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