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The Impact of Migraine on Patients With Major
Depressive Disorder
Ching-I Hung, Chia-Yih Liu, Yeong-Yuh Juang, Shuu-Juin Wang
Posted: May 2006  
Headache 2006;46:469-477

Background:  The impact of migraine and other headache types among psychiatric outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD) has not been fully described.

Objective:  To investigate the impact of migraine on the severity, physical, and anxiety symptoms in patients with MDD and to examine the interaction between headache and depression.

Methods:  The clinic-based study enrolled consecutive psychiatric outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for MDD. In addition, the interactions between headache and their depressive episode were also evaluated.

Results:  Compared with patients with migraine, MDD patients with comorbid migraine had higher physical and anxiety scores on the three psychometric instruments. Migraine accounted for 5% to 11% of the variance of the total scores on the three psychometric scales. Approximately half of patients reported headache worsening during or after a depressive episode.

Conclusions:  Our study found that comorbidity of migraine in patients with MDD was associated with more anxiety and physical symptoms. Headache should not be considered as only a somatic symptom of depression, but should be treated as an important comorbid disorder because it might exacerbate or interact with depression during a depressive episode.