Migraine, quality of life, and depression: A population-based case-control study

Richard B. Lipton, S. W. Hamelsky, K. B. Kolodner, T. J. Steiner, W. F. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

362 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-635
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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