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Migraines Linked to Childhood Abuse

Update Date: Dec 24, 2014 10:50 PM EST

Childhood abuse increases the risk of future migraines, according to a new study.

"Childhood maltreatment can have long-lasting effects, like associated medical and psychological conditions including migraine in adulthood," study author Dawn Buse, director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City, said in a news release.

"When managing patients with migraine, neurologists should take childhood maltreatment into consideration," added Buse, who is also an associate professor in clinical neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, according to HealthDay.

The latest study involved data from more than 8,300 people with migraines and more than 1,400 with tension headaches.

After interviewing participants, researchers found that emotional abuse was reported by 24.5 percent of those with migraines and 21.5 percent of those with tension headaches. Furthermore, the study revealed that people who experienced emotional abuse before age 18 were a third more likely to have migraines than tension headaches.

The findings held true after accounting for factors like age, sex, race, income, anxiety and depression. The study also revealed that adults who experienced childhood sexual abuse and emotional neglect were also significantly more likely to experience migraines.

The findings are published in the journal Neurology.

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