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Sex matters -- more men with migraine suffer from PTSD than women
Date:6/1/2011

A recently published paper highlights that while the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more common in those with migraine than those without migraine irrespective of sex, the risk is greater in male migraineurs than female migraineurs. Study details are now available in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Headache Society.

In this paper, lead author B. Lee Peterlin and colleagues review the epidemiology of PTSD and migraine, underscoring the established sex differences. While individually both migraine and PTSD are more common in women than men, a recent study by Peterlin and colleaguesthe only study to date to look at sex differences in the PTSD-migraine associationsuggests that men with migraines had up to a four-fold greater odds of PTSD than females who experience migraine headaches. This finding suggests that sex hormones play an important role in the PTSD-migraine association.

The age of the traumatic life event resulting in PTSD may also be an important factor for the sex differences in the PTSD-migraine association. When a traumatic life event occurs before 13 years of age, the risk of depression is greater than the risk of PTSD; however, when the traumatic life event occurs after 12 years of age, the risk of PTSD is greater.37 Although the migraine population has a documented high prevalence of abuse, the peak age of vulnerability for childhood sexual abuse, is under 13 years of age. In contrast transportation accidents and combat, (two of the most common traumatic events reported by migraineurs with PTSD in one study), may be more commonly experienced by those older than 12 years of age. It is therefore possible that in the migraine population, sex differences in the type and age of traumatization contributes to the sex differences in the risk of PTSD.

Studies have also shown that the presence of PTSD in those with migraine is associated
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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