Migraine, quality of life, and depression: a population-based case-control study

Neurology. 2000 Sep 12;55(5):629-35. doi: 10.1212/wnl.55.5.629.


Objective: This study reports on the influence of migraine and comorbid depression on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a population-based sample of subjects with migraine and nonmigraine controls.

Methods: Two population-based studies of similar design were conducted in the United States and United Kingdom. A clinically validated, computer-assisted telephone interview was used to identify individuals with migraine, as defined by the International Headache Society, and a nonmigraine control group. During follow-up interviews, 389 migraine cases (246 US, 143 UK) and 379 nonmigraine controls (242 US, 137 UK) completed the Short Form (SF)-12, a generic HRQoL measure, and the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders, a mental health screening tool. The SF-12 measures HRQoL in two domains: a mental health component score (MCS-12) and a physical health component score (PCS-12).

Results: In the United States and United Kingdom, subjects with migraine had lower scores (p < 0.001) on both the MCS-12 and PCS-12 than their nonmigraine counterparts. Significant differences were maintained after controlling for gender, age, and education. Migraine and depression were highly comorbid (adjusted prevalence ratio 2.7, 95% CI 2.1 to 3. 5). After adjusting for gender, age, and education, both depression and migraine remained significantly and independently associated with decreased MCS-12 and PCS-12 scores. HRQoL was significantly associated with attack frequency (for MCS-12 and PCS-12) and disability (MCS-12).

Conclusions: Subjects with migraine selected from the general population have lower HRQoL as measured by the SF-12 compared with nonmigraine controls. Further, migraine and depression are highly comorbid and each exerts a significant and independent influence on HRQoL.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / complications*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / complications
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology*
  • United States / epidemiology