Is a family history of bipolar disorder a risk factor for migraine among affectively ill patients?

Psychopathology. 2009;42(2):119-23. doi: 10.1159/000204762. Epub 2009 Feb 27.

Abstract

Aims: The aim was to determine whether having a family history of bipolar disorder (BPD) or unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with an increased likelihood of having migraine headaches.

Methods: Latino adults received structured diagnostic interviews. Family history was determined by live interview of first-degree relatives or interview by proxy. All patients met the criteria for major depressive episode (MDE) at the time of assessment. The method of diagnosing migraine had sensitivity and specificity of 87 and 50%, respectively. Logistic regression was used to test for associations and control for confounding.

Results: In total, 153 patients met the criteria for MDD and 87 for BPD. Patients with MDD who had a family history of BPD were 4.3 times more likely to have migraine headaches than those who did not (OR=4.34, z=3.02, p=0.003, 95% CI=1.67-11.27). Patients with BPD who had a family history of BPD were 3 times more likely to have migraine than those who did not (OR=2.99, z=2.45, p=0.014, 95% CI=1.25-7.19). Within the entire group of patients, those with a family history of BPD were 4.4 times more likely to have migraine headaches than those who did not (OR = 4.38, p<0.0001, z=4.72, 95% CI=2.37-8.09). A family history of MDD was not associated with an increased risk of having migraine.

Conclusion: Regardless of a patient's polarity, having a family history of BPD is associated with an increased risk of having migraine headache.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index