Abused Children Prone to Headaches as Adults

Washington, June 23 (IANS) Kids who experience emotional, physical and sexual abuse are more likely to experience frequent headaches, including chronic migraine, as adults, says a study.

Using data from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study of 17,337 adult members of the Kaiser Health Plan in San Diego, Gretchen E. Tietjen, University of Toledo College Of Medicine, and her team found that the ACEs showed a graded relationship to the likelihood of experiencing frequent headaches.

"We looked at eight ACEs -- emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, witnessing domestic violence, growing up with mental illness in the home, having household members who were incarcerated or were using drugs, and experiencing parental separation or divorce," Tietjen said.

"Each ACE increased the chance of frequent headache, and as the number of ACEs increased, so did the risk of frequent headache. This 'dose-response' relationship' suggests that ACEs may contribute to the development and frequency of severe headaches later in life," she added.

"Earlier studies have linked childhood maltreatment to frequent headaches and migraine," said David Dodick, president of the American Headache Society (AHS), according to the University of Toledo release.

"The biological underpinnings of this relationship should be a target of future research and clinicians should be aware of this important relationship in order to facilitate appropriate management strategies," Tietjen said.

These findings were presented at the American Headache Society's 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles.


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