19 February 2010

Chronic migraines take heavy toll

New research suggests that people who have migraines often are in worse health overall, poorer and more depressed.


New research suggests that there's a difference between people who have migraines a lot and those who have them less often: The most frequent sufferers are in worse health overall, poorer and more depressed.

The finding comes from a study of nearly 12 000 people with headaches that were labeled either episodic, if they occurred no more than 14 days a month, or chronic, if they occurred 15 or more days a month.

Those with chronic migraines made a lot less money, were less likely to work full-time and were nearly twice as likely to have a job-related disability as the other headache patients.

The chronic sufferers were also twice as likely to experience other problems, such as depression, anxiety and chronic pain. They were 70% more likely to have had a stroke, and the researchers linked these chronic migraine patients to higher rates of such diseases as asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The findings, the researchers say, could be used to figure out how people with episodic migraines develop chronic forms of the condition. The study findings were published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. - (HealthDay News, February 2010)


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Headache expert

Dr Elliot Shevel is a South African migraine surgery pioneer and the founder and medical director of The Headache Clinic in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa. The Headache Clinic is a multidisciplinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of Primary Headaches and Migraines. Dr Shevel is also the main author of all scientific publications generated by his team. He recently won a high level science debate in which he was able to prove that the current migraine diagnosis and classification is not based on data. Tertiary Education - Dr Shevel holds both Dental and Medical degrees, and practises as a specialist Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeon. Follow the Headache Clinic on Twitter@HeadacheClinic.

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