(Last Updated On: 26th April 2023)

A study uncovers a higher prevalence of depression and anxiety among migraine sufferers who are also struggling with obesity – shedding light on the need for a holistic approach to treatment.

The scientific study aimed to discern the effects of depression and anxiety on the migraine-obesity relationship revealed that the relationship of obesity with migraine frequency and migraine-related disability is modified by depression and anxiety, with the strongest effect observed in migraineurs with both depression and anxiety.

Obese migraineurs with depression were more likely to have higher headache frequency and headache-related disability compared to normal weight migraineurs without depression.

Similarly, obese migraineurs with anxiety were more likely to have higher headache frequency and headache-related disability compared to normal weight migraineurs without depression.

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Methodology

The study used data from an ongoing cross-sectional multi-centre study on morbid conditions in clinic patients seeking treatment for headaches. A total of 721 migraineurs (88% women) from 8 different headache treatment centres were included in the study, with a mean age of 42 years.

The diagnosis of migraine was determined by the examining physician based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD)-II criteria. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire with information on demographics, headache features, and physician-diagnosed comorbid medical and psychiatric disorders.

The results of the study found that the prevalence of obesity in the population was 30%, with only 38% having a normal weight. Obesity was more common in men, African Americans, and in lower education and household income groups. Current depression (PHQ-9 score ≥10) was noted in 42% and current anxiety (BAI score ≥8) in 70% of the obese migraineurs.

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Therefore, it can be inferred that depression and anxiety were found to be common in obese migraineurs. The study further suggests that the relationship between obesity and migraine frequency and migraine-related disability is modified by depression and anxiety.

Further research is needed to fully understand the complex interactions between these conditions and to develop effective treatment strategies for individuals with comorbid migraine and obesity, depression, and anxiety.

Depression and anxiety

Those who suffer from migraines and are also obese are more likely to have depression and anxiety. The study also found that the relationship between obesity and the frequency and severity of migraines is affected by depression and anxiety. The study revealed that people who have both depression and anxiety are most affected by this relationship.

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This is important as it highlights the complex interactions between migraine, obesity, depression, and anxiety and suggests that these conditions are interconnected. This understanding can help healthcare providers to develop effective treatment strategies for people with comorbid migraine and obesity, depression and anxiety.

It also highlights that people who have migraines and are also obese should be screened for depression and anxiety, and treated accordingly, as it could have a significant impact on their quality of life and migraine symptoms. Furthermore, it also implies that by treating depression and anxiety the symptoms of migraines could be reduced, thus improving the overall quality of life for the patient.