MONDAY, Feb. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — There is a bidirectional association between anxiety and depression and migraine and tension-type headache (TTH), according to a study published online Jan. 21 in The Journal of Headache and Pain.

Samita Giri, Ph.D., from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and colleagues used data from the Trøndelag Health Study conducted in 2006 to 2008 (baseline) and 2017 to 2019 (follow-up) to assess the bidirectional relationship between migraine and TTH and anxiety and depression. The population at baseline consisted of 18,380 persons with Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) scores ≤7 and 13,893 without headache.

The researchers found that individuals with HADS anxiety (HADS-A) and depression (HADS-D) scores of ≥8 at baseline had nearly double the risk for migraine at follow-up (risk ratios, 1.8 to 2.2) in the multiadjusted model, while the risk for TTH was increased 40 percent (risk ratio, 1.40). The risk for having HADS-A and HADS-D scores ≥8 at follow-up was also increased for those with TTH and migraine at baseline (risk ratios, 1.3 and 1.3 to 1.6, respectively). The risk for a HADS-A score ≥8 was increased 81 percent in association with migraine with aura (risk ratio, 1.81).

“This result may indicate shared underlying pathophysiological mechanisms related to neurotransmitters, genetic basis and/or environmental factors, and that effective management of affective disorders may hold the potential to reduce the incidence of migraine and TTH, and vice versa,” the authors write.

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