Association of headache with childhood adversity and mental disorder: Cross-national study

Sing Lee, Adley Tsang, Michael Von Korff, Ron De Graaf, Corina Benjet, Josep Maria Haro, Matthias Angermeyer, Koen Demyttenaere, Giovanni De Girolamo, Isabelle Gasquet, Kathleen Merikangas, José Posada-Villa, Tadashi Takeshima, Ronald C. Kessler

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Background Community studies about the association of headache with both childhood family adversities and depression/anxiety disorders are limited. Aims To assess the independent and joint associations of childhood family adversities and early-onset depression and anxiety disorders with risks of adult-onset headache. Method Data were pooled from cross-sectional community surveys conducted in ten Latin and North American, European and Asian countries (n=18303) by using standardised instruments. Headache and a range of childhood family adversities were assessed by self-report. Results The number of childhood family adversities was associated with adult-onset headache after adjusting for gender, age, country and early-onset depression/anxiety disorder status (for one adversity, hazard ratio (HR)=1.22-1.6; for two adversities, HR=1.19-1.67; for three or more adversities, HR=1.37-1.95). Early and current onset of depression/anxiety disorders were independently associated (HR=1.42-1.89) with adult-onset headache after controlling for number of childhood family adversities. Conclusions The findings call for a broad developmental perspective concerning risk factors for development of headache.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Lee, S., Tsang, A., Von Korff, M., De Graaf, R., Benjet, C., Haro, J. M., Angermeyer, M., Demyttenaere, K., De Girolamo, G., Gasquet, I., Merikangas, K., Posada-Villa, J., Takeshima, T., & Kessler, R. C. (2009). Association of headache with childhood adversity and mental disorder: Cross-national study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 194(2), 111-116.