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.