Emotionally abused kids prone to migraine attacks

New York: Children who are emotionally abused are more likely to experience migraines as they mature, says a study. The study showed that the link between migraine and abuse was stronger for emotional abuse than for physical or sexual abuse. "Emotional abuse showed the strongest link to increased risk of migraine," said lead study author Gretchen Tietjen from University of Toledo in Ohio.  The researchers investigated data from 14,484 people aged 24 to 32. Nearly 14 percent reported that they had been diagnosed with migraines. Among those who experienced abuse, 55 percent were more likely to experience migraine than those who were never abused after accounting for factors like age, income, race and sex. Those who underwent emotional abuse were 52 percent more likely to have migraine than those who were not abused, after accounting for other types of abuse as well as age, income, race and sex.  In contrast, those who were sexually or physically abused were not significantly more likely to have migraine than people who were not abused. The participants were asked whether they had experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse in childhood.  About 47 percent of the participants answered yes to having been emotionally abused, 18 percent physically abused and five percent sexually abused. Of those diagnosed with migraines, 61 percent said they had been abused as a child. Of those who never had a migraine, 49 percent said they were abused.  The study revealed that childhood abuse could have long-lasting effects on health and well being, the researchers concluded. The findings are set to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 68th annual meeting in Canada from April 15-21.