High chances of migraine in children who witness violence at home

  • IANS, Toronto
  • Updated: Jun 26, 2015 16:56 IST

If you were witness to your parents' fights or experienced any adversity like childhood physical and sexual abuse, you have higher chances of having migraine.

A study has found that exposure to childhood adversity, including parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse puts the children at higher risk of migraine headaches in adulthood.

"The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines," said Esme Fuller-Thomson, Professor at University of Toronto and co-author of the study published in the journal Headache.

"Even after accounting for variables including age, race, socioeconomic status, history of depression and anxiety, and childhood physical and sexual abuse, men and women who had witnessed parental domestic violence had 52 percent and 64 percent higher odds of migraine, respectively, compared to those without such a history ," Fuller-Thomson said.

For the study, the researchers examined a sample of 12,638 women and 10,358 men aged 18 and over from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health.

For those who reported all three types of adversities--parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse--the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women, said first author of the study Sarah Brennenstuhl from University of Toronto in Canada.

"We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine," Brennenstuhl said.

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