Nav: Home

One in every 12 Canadian with migraines has attempted suicide

April 04, 2019

Toronto, ON - A new study by the University of Toronto (U of T), released this week, found that adults with migraine who had been sexually abused during childhood were three times more likely to have attempted suicide. Childhood physical abuse doubled the odds of suicide attempts and exposure to chronic parental domestic violence was associated with 67% higher odds of attempting to take one's life.

The lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts among individuals with migraines was 8.7% compared to 2.3% of those without the disorder, according to the study.

"Even after taking into account most of the known risk factors for suicide attempts, those with migraines had 77% higher odds of having attempted suicide in comparison to those without migraines. Almost one-third (30%) of all Canadians who have attempted suicide are migraineurs," reported lead author Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Director of the Institute for Life Course and Aging.

The study examined a representative sample of 21,744 community-dwelling Canadians, of whom 2,223 reported they had been diagnosed with migraines by a health professional. Data were drawn from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health.

"When we examined only the respondents with migraine, we found that a history of exposure to parental domestic violence, childhood sexual and physical abuse played a huge role, explaining 23% of the variability in suicide attempts. To put this number in context, most of the other known risk factors for suicide attempts including gender, race, age, education, household income, level of chronic pain, and history of substance dependence, anxiety disorder and depression cumulatively only explained 26% of the variability in suicide attempts," said co-author Gwyneth A. Hodgins, a recent University of Toronto Masters in Social Work graduate.

"Clearly those with migraine are an extremely vulnerable population. Knowledge of the added risk of suicide attempts associated with migraineurs with a high level of chronic pain, lower income and a history of adverse childhood experiences, substance dependence, anxiety disorders and depression will hopefully help clinicians improve targeting and outreach to this population," said Fuller-Thomson.
-end-
The paper was published online this week in the journal Archives of Suicide Research. A copy of the paper is available, upon request, for journalists.

Media contact:

Prof. Esme Fuller-Thomson
Professor & Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair
Institute for Life Course & Aging
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work &
University of Toronto
Cell: 416-209-3231
esme.fuller.thomson@utoronto.ca

University of Toronto

Related Chronic Pain Articles:

Researchers are developing potential treatment for chronic pain
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have developed a new way to treat chronic pain which has been tested in mice.
Molecular link between chronic pain and depression revealed
Researchers at Hokkaido University have identified the brain mechanism linking chronic pain and depression in rats.
How chikungunya virus may cause chronic joint pain
A new method for permanently marking cells infected with chikungunya virus could reveal how the virus continues to cause joint pain for months to years after the initial infection, according to a study published Aug.
Gastroesophageal reflux associated with chronic pain in temporomandibular joint
Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) is associated with chronic, painful temporomandibular disorder -- pain in the temporomandibular joint -- and anxiety and poor sleep contribute to this association, according to a study in CMAJ.
One step closer to chronic pain relief
While effective drugs against chronic pain are not just around the corner, researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, have succeeded in identifying a protein as a future potential target for medicinal drugs.
Gut bacteria associated with chronic pain for first time
In a paper published today in the journal Pain, a Montreal-based research team has shown, for the first time, that there are alterations in the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tracts of people with fibromyalgia.
Nearly 5.4 million cancer survivors suffer chronic pain
A new report finds about one in three cancer survivors (34.6%) reported having chronic pain, representing nearly 5.4 million cancer survivors in the United States.
New opioid speeds up recovery without increasing pain sensitivity or risk of chronic pain
A new type of non-addictive opioid developed by researchers at Tulane University and the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System accelerates recovery time from pain compared to morphine without increasing pain sensitivity, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.
New target for chronic pain relief confirmed by scientists
A research group at Hiroshima University observed a potential new target for chronic pain treatment.
Menopause symptoms nearly double the risk of chronic pain
In addition to the other health conditions affected by estrogen, it has also been shown to affect pain sensitivity.
More Chronic Pain News and Chronic Pain Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Processing The Pandemic
Between the pandemic and America's reckoning with racism and police brutality, many of us are anxious, angry, and depressed. This hour, TED Fellow and writer Laurel Braitman helps us process it all.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#568 Poker Face Psychology
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Invisible Allies
As scientists have been scrambling to find new and better ways to treat covid-19, they've come across some unexpected allies. Invisible and primordial, these protectors have been with us all along. And they just might help us to better weather this viral storm. To kick things off, we travel through time from a homeless shelter to a military hospital, pondering the pandemic-fighting power of the sun. And then, we dive deep into the periodic table to look at how a simple element might actually be a microbe's biggest foe. This episode was reported by Simon Adler and Molly Webster, and produced by Annie McEwen and Pat Walters. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.