Skip to main content

Migraine and the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder among a cohort of pregnant women

Abstract

Background

Individually both migraine and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence estimates are higher among women. However, there is limited data on the association of migraine and PTSD in women during pregnancy.

Methods

We examined the association between migraine and PTSD among women attending prenatal clinics in Peru. Migraine was characterized using the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD)-III beta criteria. PTSD was assessed using the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C). Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) after adjusting for confounders.

Results

Of the 2922 pregnant women included, 33.5% fulfilled criteria for any migraine (migraine 12.5%; probable migraine 21.0%) and 37.4% fulfilled PTSD criteria. Even when controlling for depression, women with any migraine had almost a 2-fold increased odds of PTSD (OR: 1.97; 95% CI: 1.64–2.37) as compared to women without migraine. Specifically, women with migraine alone (i.e. excluding probable migraine) had a 2.85-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 2.18–3.74), and women with probable migraine alone had a 1.61-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 1.30–1.99) as compared to those without migraine, even after controlling for depression. In those women with both migraine and comorbid depression, the odds of PTSD in all migraine categories were even further increased as compared to those women without migraine.

Conclusion

In a cohort of pregnant women, irrespective of the presence or absence of depression, the odds of PTSD is increased in those with migraine. Our findings suggest the importance of screening for PTSD, specifically in pregnant women with migraine.

Background

According to the National Health Interview Survey in 2011, 26.1% of women 18–44 years of age reported migraines or severe headaches in the last 3 months [1]. Migraine is more prevalent among reproductive-aged women as compared to men [2] and from early to middle adulthood as compared to younger or older individuals [1]. Migraine also often adversely affects the health of large populations [3]. Further, migraine in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of perinatal complications including preeclampsia [4, 5], preterm delivery [6], placental abruption [7], hypertensive disorders [6], as well as cardiovascular disease and stroke [8,9,10,11].

Maternal mood and anxiety disorders have been implicated as important risk factors for migraine [12,13,14,15,16]. Migraine during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of depression [17, 18] and suicidal ideation [19]. Additionally, both migraine and PTSD are more prevalent in reproductive-aged women as compared to men [2, 3]. Although increasing data supports an association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and migraine in U.S. cohorts [3, 20, 21], no prior study has examined the risk of PTSD in pregnant women. Further there is little evidence for the association between migraine and PTSD in women from low income countries or the impact of depression on this association. To fill in these gaps in the literature, we examined the association between migraine and PTSD among a cohort of pregnant women in Lima, Peru.

Methods

Study population

The study population for this cross-sectional study was drawn from participants of the Pregnancy Outcomes, Maternal and Infant Study (PrOMIS) cohort. The PrOMIS cohort has been described previously [22,23,24,25]. The cohort was designed to examine maternal social and behavioral risk factors on the development of preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes among Peruvian women. The PrOMIS cohort was comprised of women attending prenatal care clinics at the Instituto Nacional Materno Perinatal (INMP) in Lima, Peru. INMP is operated by the Peruvian government and is the primary reference establishment for maternal and perinatal care. Women were eligible for inclusion if they initiated prenatal care before 16 weeks of gestation, were at least 18 years of age, and could speak and read Spanish. Pregnant women were excluded if they have mental retardation, twins, fetal malformation or a history of chronic hypertension, diabetes mellitus, sepsis or renal failure. Participants provided written informed consent. All study procedures were approved by the INMP in Lima, Peru, and the Office of Human Research Administration at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Analytical population

Information was collected from participants enrolled in the PrOMIS cohort from February 2012 to March 2014. After excluding 20 women due to missing information on migraine, a total of 2922 women were included in our analysis. The excluded participants were not different from the rest of the cohort in regards to sociodemographic or lifestyle characteristics.

Migraine assessment

Trained interviewers administered a Spanish-language questionnaire to determine migraine classification. Migraine and probable migraine status were classified based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD)-III beta criteria [26]. Migraine was classified as participants fulfilling all 5 migraine diagnostic criteria. Probable migraine was designated if all 5 but one of the diagnostic criteria were fulfilled. Women fulfilling ICHD-III beta criteria for migraine or probable migraine when combined were classified as “any migraine.” Women not fulfilling ICHD-III beta criteria for either migraine or probable migraine were classified as non-migraineurs.

PTSD assessment

PTSD was assessed using the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), a self-report measure with 17 items reflecting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria [27]. For each item, participants were asked how bothered they were by a symptom over the past month on a 5-point Likert scale in regards to their most significant life event stressor. The total score on the PCL-C ranges from 17 to 85. Recent data from our team support that a PCL-C score of 26 or higher on the Spanish-language version is associated with an 86% sensitivity and 63% specificity in diagnosing PTSD in a Peruvian population [28]. Further, we also examined PTSD using the established cutoff score of 44 or higher [20, 29, 30].

Other covariates

Sociodemographic characteristics and information pertaining to depression status were collected from participants through structured questionnaires. Participants’ age was classified as: 18–19, 20–29, 30–34, or ≥35 years old. Other sociodemographic covariates included: body mass index (BMI) based on self-reported pre-pregnancy weight and measured early pregnancy BMI (<18.5, 18.5–24.9, 25–29.9, >30 kg/m2), educational attainment (≤6, 7–12, >12 years), maternal ethnicity (Mestizos of mixed Amerindian and European descent vs. others), employment status (employed vs. not employed), marital status (married or living with partner vs. other), difficulty paying for medical care (hard vs. not very hard), difficulty paying for the very basics (hard vs. not very hard), planned pregnancy (yes vs. no), parity (nulliparous vs. multiparous), lifetime intimate partner violence (yes vs. no), childhood abuse (no abuse, physical abuse only, sexual abuse only, both physical and sexual abuse), and gestational age in weeks at the time of interview. The presence of antepartum depression was ascertained using the 9 item Spanish-language Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) that has been validated in this population [31,32,33]. The PHQ-9 assesses depressive symptoms over the previous 14 days. The PHQ-9 score is calculated by assigning a score of 0–3 to the following response categories: “not at all,” “several days,” “more than half the days,” “nearly every day.” We defined presence of depression if participants had a PHQ-9 score ≥ 10 [34]. Lifetime intimate partner violence was ascertained through questions adapted from the Demographic Health Survey Questionnaires and Modules: Domestic Violence Module [35] and the WHO Multi-Country Study on Violence Against Women [36], respectively.

Statistical analysis

Sociodemographic and reproductive characteristics were examined using number (percent, %) for categorical variables and mean (± standard deviation [SD]) for continuous variables. Chi-square tests were used to evaluate differences in distribution of categorical variables, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate mean differences for continuous variables. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of migraine in relation to PTSD.

Confounding factors were examined based on their hypothesized relationship with migraine and PTSD. Confounding was evaluated by entering potential confounders into a logistic regression model sequentially and comparing adjusted and unadjusted ORs. Final multivariable regression models included covariates that altered ORs by at least 10% or were considered a priori as potential confounders in the association between migraine and PTSD [37]. We examined the following covariates as potential confounders in the analyses: age, education, BMI, Mestizo ethnicity, marital status, employment, difficult paying for the basics or for medical care, parity, planned pregnancy, gestational age, childhood abuse, lifetime intimate partner violence, and depression. Prior studies have reported the comorbidity of depression and migraine [38, 39], including during pregnancy [18]. Given this, we repeated the analyses stratifying by maternal depression. In addition, some studies have used a PCL-C cutoff score of 44 to identify PTSD. Thus, we performed a sensitivity analysis using a PCL-C cutoff score of 44 or higher to diagnose PTSD. Reported P-values were two-sided and were statistically significant at P ≤ 0.05. All analyses were performed using SPSS Statistics, Version 23.0 (IBM SPSS v23.0, Armonk, NY, USA).

Results

Sociodemographic and reproductive characteristics

The sociodemographic and reproductive characteristics of the study population are shown in Table 1. A total of 2922 pregnant women between 18 to 35 years old (mean = 28.12 years; standard deviation (SD) = 6.31) were included in the analysis. The average gestational age at time of the interview was 9.23 weeks (SD = 3.46). The majority of the participants were married or living with a partner (81.1%), Mestizos (a race/ethnicity of mixed Amerindian and European descent; 75.2%), unemployed (53.7%), and with less than 12 years of education (59%). The prevalence of any migraine was 33.5% (migraine 12.5%; probable migraine 21.0%). Those with migraine were more likely to be unemployed, have difficulties paying for basic necessities and medical care, identify as Mestizo, and have a history of child abuse and lifetime intimate partner violence (Table 1). Of the 2922 participants, 37.4% of the participants fulfilled criteria for PTSD. Participants with PTSD were less likely to identify as Mestizo and were more likely to have difficulties paying for the basics, have difficulties paying for medical care, have a history of lifetime intimate partner violence, and suffer from depression than those without a PTSD diagnosis (Additional file 1: Table S1).

Table 1 Socio-demographic and reproductive characteristics of the study population according to types of migraine in Lima, Peru (N = 2922)

Migraine and PTSD

A history of any migraine (migraine and probable migraine) was statistically significantly associated with increased odds of PTSD (OR = 2.50; 95% CI: 2.14–2.93) (Table 2). After adjusting for sociodemographic confounders, women who suffered from any migraine had a 2.37-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 2.02–2.79) as compared to women with no history of migraine. Further adjustment for lifetime intimate partner violence and depression status attenuated the magnitude of association but it remained significant (OR = 1.97; 95% CI: 1.64–2.37). After adjusting for sociodemographic confounders, women with migraine had a 3.81-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 3.00–4.82) as compared to non-migraineurs, and the association remained significant after adjusting for lifetime intimate partner violence and depression status (OR = 2.85; 95% CI: 2.18–3.74). Participants with probable migraine had a 1.80-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 1.49–2.18) as compared to non-migraineurs after adjusting for potential confounders. Further adjustment for depression status and lifetime intimate partner violence slightly attenuated the magnitude of association (OR = 1.61; 95% CI:1.30–1.99) (Table 1).

Table 2 Association between migraine and PTSD a assessed by the PCL-C during pregnancy (N = 2922)

Migraine and PTSD stratified by depression

Finally, we explored the association of migraine and PTSD stratified by depression status (Table 3). In a multivariable adjusted model, women with any migraine (migraine and probable migraine) but without depression had a 1.93-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 1.55–2.40) (Table 3) compared with the reference group (women without migraine or depression). Women with migraine but no depression had a 2.76-fold increased odds of PTSD (OR = 2.76; 95% CI: 1.99–3.82) after adjusting for sociodemographic confounders compared with women who had neither condition. Pregnant women with probable migraine and no depression had a 1.62-fold increased odds of PTSD (OR = 1.62, 95%CI: 1.99–3.82) compared with the reference. Compared to the reference group, participants suffering from depression and any migraine had an approximately 2.1-fold increased odds of PTSD (OR = 2.09; 95% CI: 1.49–2.92) after adjusting for potential confounders. Women with migraine or probable migraine stratified by depression had a similar increase in likelihood of PTSD compared to non-migraineurs (migraine: OR = 3.13; 95% CI: 1.91–5.11; probable migraine: OR = 1.59; 95% CI; 1.07–2.35) (Table 3).

Table 3 Association between migraine and PTSD a during pregnancy (N = 2922) stratified by depression status

The results remained similar using a PCL-C cut-off score of 44 to identify PTSD (Additional file 2: Table S2). For example, after adjusting for confounders, women who suffered from any migraine had a 3.81-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 2.76–5.26) as compared to women with no history of migraine. Further adjustment for lifetime intimate partner violence and depression status attenuated the magnitude of association, but it remained significant (OR: 2.67; 95% CI: 1.87–3.82).

Discussion

In our cross-sectional study of pregnant Peruvian women, migraine (whether any migraine [migraine and probable migraine], migraine alone, or probable migraine alone) was associated with increased odds of PTSD. After adjusting for confounders including antepartum depression, women who reported any migraine had a 1.97-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 1.64–2.37) compared to women with no history of migraine. In a multivariable adjusted model, women with probable migraine had a 1.61-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 1.30–1.99), and women with migraine had a 2.85-fold increased odds of PTSD (95% CI: 2.18–3.74), compared to women without migraine (Table 2). In the presence of antepartum depression, women with probable migraine or migraine had increased odds of PTSD (probable migraine: OR = 1.59; 95% CI: 1.07–2.35; migraine: OR = 3.13; 95% CI: 1.91–5.11) compared to non-migraineurs (Table 3).

Previous studies have shown significant comorbidities between migraine and PTSD. However, to our knowledge, this study is the first to evaluate the association between migraine and PTSD in pregnant women. Our current findings are comparable with prior studies of adult men and non-pregnant women. In a small clinic-based study of headache patients (including migraine or tension type headache; N = 80), prevalence of PTSD-like symptomatology was similar to a comparison group of patients with masticatory muscle pain [40]. However, Peterlin et al. (2008) in their study of migraineurs attending an outpatient headache center demonstrated that PTSD was more frequently reported among chronic migraineurs than episodic migraineurs (42.9% vs. 9.4%, p = 0.0059) [20]. In a general population study in 2011, Peterlin et al. reported that those with episodic migraine had a 3- to 4- fold increased odds of PTSD as compared to those without headaches after adjusting for confounders (lifetime prevalence: OR = 3.07, 95%CI: 2.12–4.46; 12-month prevalence: OR = 4.34, 95%CI: 2.73–6.89) [41]. In a cross-sectional study in Turkey, migraine was associated with PTSD among university students (OR = 10.16, 95%CI: 3.16–32.71, p = 0.001) [42]. A recent study by Smitherman and Kolivas similarly found that those with migraine were almost twice as likely to fulfill diagnostic criteria for PTSD than non-migraineurs (25.7% vs. 14.2%, p < 0.0001). Further, compared to those without migraine, migraineurs reported more traumatic events (3.0 vs. 2.4, p < 0.0001) [21]. Despite differences in geographic location, population characteristics, and sociodemographics, previous findings consistently show comorbidity between migraine and PTSD.

Several potential biological and neurochemical mechanisms have been postulated for the association between migraine and PTSD. These include the biochemical markers serotonin, cortisol, and norepinephrine. Migraineurs have been shown to have imbalances of serotonin, a regulator of pain in the nervous system [43]. Serotonin levels decrease during a migraine attack, causing the trigeminal nerve to release neuropeptides and cause severe migraine pain [44]. PTSD has been previously associated with serotonin function [45, 46]. The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and related cortisol levels have also been associated with migraine and PTSD [3, 47,48,49]. Additionally, decreased levels of cortisol and elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6) in patients with PTSD have been suggested to be linked to migraine [50, 51]. Videlock et al. (2008) found that norepinephrine plasma levels are lower in those with PTSD when compared to individuals without PTSD [52]. Migraine patients also may have lower levels of plasma and platelet norepinephrine [53]. Mental health during pregnancy is of particular interest given the high burden of violence in this population [24, 54]. A previous study in the same cohort found 70% of participants had a history of childhood abuse and 36.7% had a history of intimate partner violence, and their abuse history was associated with an increased risk of migraine [54]. PTSD is prevalent during pregnancy and may increase postpartum if it is not identified [55]. Although a large percentage of the population suffers from migraines, particularly those of reproductive age, the mechanisms underlying the development of migraines and PTSD have yet to be fully understood [56].

Our study has several strengths, including a large sample size and a population with a high prevalence of migraine and PTSD. However, some limitations should also be considered. First, this cross-sectional study does not establish temporal relationships between migraine and PTSD. Second, the study was conducted among low-income pregnant women in Peru; thereby, warranting caution when generalizing our study to other pregnant women. Lastly, migraine and PTSD diagnoses were established using self-reported questionnaires. Thus, we cannot exclude the possibility that PTSD and migraine status were underreported in our study. Studies that systematically use screening and confirmatory diagnostic evaluations will greatly attenuate concerns about misclassification of PTSD and migraine diagnoses in epidemiological studies [20, 21].

Conclusions

Individually, migraine [57,58,59] and PTSD [60, 61] each carry a high individual, societal, and economic burden. Our study found an association between migraine and PTSD, even after adjusting for antepartum depression. Furthermore, our findings extend the body of literature on the increased risk of PTSD in those with migraine to include those with probable migraine and pregnant women. Taken together, these findings support the need for additional research on the association between migraine and PTSD, including in pregnant women, as well as the need for research evaluating potential treatment implications of this comorbidity.

Abbreviations

ANOVA:

Analysis of variance

BMI:

Body mass index

CI:

Confidence interval

DSM-IV:

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

ICHD:

International Classification of Headache Disorders

IL:

Interleukin

INMP:

Instituto Nacional Materno Perinatal

OR:

Odds ratio

PCL-C:

PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version

PHQ-9:

Patient Health Questionnaire-9

PrOMIS:

Pregnancy Outcomes, Maternal and Infant Study

PTSD:

Post-traumatic stress disorder

SD:

Standard deviation

References

  1. Smitherman TA, Burch R, Sheikh H, Loder E (2013) The prevalence, impact, and treatment of migraine and severe headaches in the United States: a review of statistics from national surveillance studies. Headache 53(3):427–436. doi:10.1111/head.12074

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Lipton R, Bigal M, Diamond M, Freitag F, Reed M, Stewart W, Group AA (2007) Migraine prevalence, disease burden, and the need for preventive therapy. Neurology 68(5):343–349

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Peterlin B, Nijjar S, Tietjen G (2011) Post-traumatic stress disorder and migraine: epidemiology, sex differences, and potential mechanisms. Headache 51(6):860–868. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2011.01907.x

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. Sanchez SE, Qiu C, Williams MA, Lam N, Sorensen TK (2008) Headaches and migraines are associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia in Peruvian women. Am J Hypertens 21(3):360–364. doi:10.1038/ajh.2007.46

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Adeney KL, Williams MA (2006) Migraine headaches and preeclampsia: an epidemiologic review. Headache 46(5):794–803. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00432.x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Cripe SM, Frederick IO, Qiu C, Williams MA (2011) Risk of preterm delivery and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in relation to maternal co-morbid mood and migraine disorders during pregnancy. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 25(2):116–123. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3016.2010.01182.x

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Sanchez SE, Williams MA, Pacora PN, Ananth CV, Qiu C, Aurora SK, Sorensen TK (2010) Risk of placental abruption in relation to migraines and headaches. BMC Womens Health 10:30. doi:10.1186/1472-6874-10-30

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. Wabnitz A, Bushnell C (2015) Migraine, cardiovascular disease, and stroke during pregnancy: systematic review of the literature. Cephalalgia 35(2):132–139. doi:10.1177/0333102414554113

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Bushnell CD, Jamison M, James AH (2009) Migraines during pregnancy linked to stroke and vascular diseases: US population based case-control study. BMJ 338:b664. doi:10.1136/bmj.b664

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. James A, Bushnell C, Jamison M, Myers E (2005) Incidence and risk factors for stroke in pregnancy and the Puerperium. Obstet Gynaecol 106(3):509–516

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Scott CA, Bewley S, Rudd A, Spark P, Kurinczuk JJ, Brocklehurst P, Knight M (2012) Incidence, risk factors, management, and outcomes of stroke in pregnancy. Obstet Gynaecol 120(2 Pt 1):318–324. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e31825f287c

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Breslau N, Davis G (1992) Migraine, major depression and panic disorder: a prospective epidemiologic study of young adults. Cephalalgia 12(2):85–90

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Breslau N, Schultz L, Stewart W, Lipton R, Welch K (2001) Headache types and panic disorder: directionality and specificity. Neurology 56(3):350–354

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Breslau NDG, Schultz LR, Peterson EL (1994) Joint 1994 Wolff award presentation. Migraine and major depression: a longitudinal study. Headache 34(7):387–393

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Lanteri-Minet M, Radat F, Chautard MH, Lucas C (2005) Anxiety and depression associated with migraine: influence on migraine subjects’ disability and quality of life, and acute migraine management. Pain 118(3):319–326. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2005.09.010

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Serafini G, Pompili M, Innamorati M, Gentile G, Borro M, Lamis DA, Lala N, Negro A, Simmaco M, Girardi P, Martelletti P (2012) Gene variants with suicidal risk in a sample of subjects with chronic migraine and affective temperamental dysregulation. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 16(10):1389–1398

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Cripe SM, Sanchez S, Lam N, Sanchez E, Ojeda N, Tacuri S, Segura C, Williams MA (2010) Depressive symptoms and migraine comorbidity among pregnant Peruvian women. J Affect Disord 122(1–2):149–153. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2009.07.014

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Orta OR, Gelaye B, Qiu C, Stoner L, Williams MA (2015) Depression, anxiety and stress among pregnant migraineurs in a pacific-northwest cohort. J Affect Disord 172:390–396. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2014.10.032

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Friedman LE, Gelaye B, Rondon MB, Sanchez SE, Peterlin BL, Williams MA (2016) Association of Migraine Headaches with Suicidal Ideation among Pregnant Women in Lima, Peru. Headache 56(4):741–749. doi:10.1111/head.12793

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  20. Peterlin BL, Tietjen G, Meng S, Lidicker J, Bigal M (2008) Post-traumatic stress disorder in episodic and chronic migraine. Headache 48(4):517–522. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2008.00917.x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Smitherman TA, Kolivas ED (2013) Trauma exposure versus posttraumatic stress disorder: relative associations with migraine. Headache 53(5):775–786. doi:10.1111/head.12063

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Barrios YV, Sanchez SE, Nicolaidis C, Garcia PJ, Gelaye B, Zhong Q, Williams MA (2015) Childhood abuse and early menarche among Peruvian women. J Adolesc Health 56(2):197–202. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.10.002

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  23. Gelaye B, Barrios YV, Zhong QY, Rondon MB, Borba CP, Sanchez SE, Henderson DC, Williams MA (2015) Association of poor subjective sleep quality with suicidal ideation among pregnant Peruvian women. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 37(5):441–447. doi:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2015.04.014

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  24. Barrios YV, Gelaye B, Zhong Q, Nicolaidis C, Rondon MB, Garcia PJ, Sanchez PA, Sanchez SE, Williams MA (2015) Association of childhood physical and sexual abuse with intimate partner violence, poor general health and depressive symptoms among pregnant women. Plos One 10(1):e0116609. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116609

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  25. Zhong QY, Wells A, Rondon MB, Williams MA, Barrios YV, Sanchez SE, Gelaye B (2016) Childhood abuse and suicidal ideation in a cohort of pregnant Peruvian women. Am J Obstet Gynecol 215(4):e501–e508. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2016.04.052

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Society HCCotIH (2013) The International classification of headache disorders, 3rd edition (beta version). Cephalalgia 33(9):629–808. doi:10.1177/0333102413485658

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Weathers F, Huska J, Keane T (1991) PCL-C for DSM-IV. National Center for PTSD-Behavioral Science Division, Boston

  28. Gelaye B, Zheng Y, Medina-Mora ME, Rondon MB, Sanchez SE, Williams MA (2017) Validity of the posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) checklist in pregnant women. BMC Psychiatry 17(1):179. doi:10.1186/s12888-017-1304-4

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. Blanchard E, Jones-Alexander J, Buckley T, Forneris C (1996) Psychometric properties of the PTSD checklist (PCL). Behav Res Ther 34(8):669–673

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Peterlin BL, Tietjen GE, Brandes JL, Rubin SM, Drexler E, Lidicker JR, Meng S (2009) Posttraumatic stress disorder in migraine. Headache 49(4):541–551. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2009.01368.x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Kroenke K, Spitzer R, Williams J (2001) The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure. J Gen Intern Med 16(9):606–613

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  32. Wulsin L, Somoza E, Heck J (2002) The feasibility of using the Spanish PHQ-9 to screen for depression in primary care in Honduras. Prim Care J Clin Psychiatry 4(5):191–195

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Zhong Q, Gelaye B, Fann JR, Sanchez SE, Williams MA (2014) Cross-cultural validity of the Spanish version of PHQ-9 among pregnant Peruvian women: a Rasch item response theory analysis. J Affect Disord 158:148–153. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2014.02.012

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  34. Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB, Lowe B (2010) The Patient health questionnaire somatic, anxiety, and depressive symptom scales: a systematic review. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 32(4):345–359. doi:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2010.03.006

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program (2005) “Demographic Health Survey questionnaires and modules: Domestic violence module.” Available: http://dhsprogram.com/publications/publication-dhsqm-dhs-questionnaires-and-manuals.cfm

  36. Garcia-Moreno C, Jansen HAFM, Ellsberg M, Heise L, Watts CH (2006) Prevalence of intimate partner violence: findings from the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence. Lancet 368(9543):1260–1269. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(06)69523-8

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Rothman KJ, Greenland S, Lash TL (2012) Modern Epidemiology, 3rd Edition. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA

  38. Breslau N, Lipton R, Stewart W, Schultz L, Welch K (2003) Comorbidity of migraine and depression: investigating potential etiology and prognosis. Neurology 60(8):1308–1312

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. Breslau N, Schultz L, Stewart W, Lipton R, Lucia V, Welch K (2000) Headache and major depression: is the association specific to migraine? Neurology 54(2):308–313

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. de Leeuw R, Schmidt JE, Carlson CR (2005) Traumatic stressors and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in headache patients. Headache 45(10):1365–1374. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2005.00269.x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Peterlin BL, Rosso AL, Sheftell FD, Libon DJ, Mossey JM, Merikangas KR (2011) Post-traumatic stress disorder, drug abuse and migraine: new findings from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Cephalalgia 31(2):235–244. doi:10.1177/0333102410378051

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Balaban H, Semiz M, Senturk IA, Kavakci O, Cinar Z, Dikici A, Topaktas S (2012) Migraine prevalence, alexithymia, and post-traumatic stress disorder among medical students in Turkey. J Headache Pain 13(6):459–467. doi:10.1007/s10194-012-0452-7

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  43. Hamel E (2007) Serotonin and migraine: biology and clinical implications. Cephalalgia 27(11):1293–1300

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Kalaycioglu E, Gokdeniz T, Aykan AC, Gursoy MO, Gul I, Ayhan N, Celik S (2014) Evaluation of right ventricle functions and serotonin levels during headache attacks in migraine patients with aura. Int J Card Imaging 30(7):1255–1263. doi:10.1007/s10554-014-0456-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Juang K, Yang C (2014) Psychiatric comorbidity of chronic daily headache: focus on traumatic experiences in childhood, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidality. Curr Pain Headache Rep 18(4):405. doi:10.1007/s11916-014-0405-8

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  46. Xie P, Kranzler HR, Poling J, Stein MB, Anton RF, Brady K, Weiss RD, Farrer L, Gelernter J (2009) Interactive effect of stressful life events and the serotonin transporter 5-HTTLPR genotype on posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis in 2 independent populations. Arch Gen Psychiatry 66(11):1201–1209. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.153

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  47. Peres M, MSd R, Seabra M, Tufik S, Abucham J, Cipolla-Neto J, Silberstein S, Zukerman E (2001) Hypothalamic involvement in chronic migraine. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 71(6):747–751

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  48. Daskalakis NP, Lehrner A, Yehuda R (2013) Endocrine aspects of post-traumatic stress disorder and implications for diagnosis and treatment. Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am 42(3):503–513. doi:10.1016/j.ecl.2013.05.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Morris MC, Compas BE, Garber J (2012) Relations among posttraumatic stress disorder, comorbid major depression, and HPA function: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Rev 32(4):301–315. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2012.02.002

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  50. Gill J, Vythilingam M, Page GG (2008) Low cortisol, high DHEA, and high levels of stimulated TNF-alpha, and IL-6 in women with PTSD. J Trauma Stress 21(6):530–539. doi:10.1002/jts.20372

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  51. Sarchielli P, Alberti A, Baldi A, Coppola F, Rossi C, Pierguidi L, Floridi A, Calabresi P (2006) Proinflammatory cytokines, adhesion molecules, and lymphocyte integrin expression in the internal jugular blood of migraine patients without aura assessed ictally. Headache 46(2):200–207. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00337.x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  52. Videlock EJ, Peleg T, Segman R, Yehuda R, Pitman RK, Shalev AY (2008) Stress hormones and post-traumatic stress disorder in civilian trauma victims: a longitudinal study. Part II: the adrenergic response. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 11(3):373–380. doi:10.1017/S1461145707008139

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  53. Martínez F, Castillo J, Pardo J, Lema M, Noya M (1993) Catecholamine levels in plasma and CSF in migraine. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 56(10):1119–1121

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  54. Gelaye B, Do N, Avila S, Carlos Velez J, Zhong QY, Sanchez SE, Peterlin BL, Williams MA (2016) Childhood abuse, intimate partner violence and risk of migraine among pregnant women: an epidemiologic study. Headache 56(6):976–986. doi:10.1111/head.12855

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  55. Yildiz PD, Ayers S, Phillips L (2017) The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder in pregnancy and after birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affect Disord 208:634–645. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2016.10.009

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  56. Banhidy F, Acs N, Horvath-Puho E, Czeizel AE (2007) Pregnancy complications and delivery outcomes in pregnant women with severe migraine. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 134(2):157–163. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2006.08.025

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  57. Lipton RBSW, Scher AI (2001) Epidemiology and economic impact of migraine. Curr Med Res Opin 17(Suppl 1):s4–12

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  58. Stewart W, Ricci J, Chee E, Morganstein D, Lipton R (2003) Lost productive time and cost due to common pain conditions in the US workforce. JAMA 290(18):2443–2454

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  59. Stovner L, Hagen K, Jensen R, Katsarava Z, Lipton R, Scher A, Steiner T, Zwart JA (2007) The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide. Cephalalgia 27(3):193–210. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2007.01288.x

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  60. Atwoli L, Stein DJ, Koenen KC, McLaughlin KA (2015) Epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder: prevalence, correlates and consequences. Curr Opin Psychiatry 28(4):307–311. doi:10.1097/YCO.0000000000000167

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  61. Kalia M (2002) Assessing the economic impact of stress: the modern day hidden epidemic. Metabolism 51(6):49–53. doi:10.1053/meta.2002.33193

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the dedicated staff members of Asociacion Civil Proyectos en Salud (PROESA), Peru, and Instituto Especializado Materno Perinatal, Peru, for their expert technical assistance with this research.

Funding

This research was supported by awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (T37-MD-001449), and the Eunice Kenney Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD-059835). The NIH had no further role in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Authors’ contributions

BLP, BG, LEF, and MAW conceived and designed the study. RPH, CA, and LEF analyzed data and drafted the manuscript. All authors interpreted the data, critically revised the draft for important intellectual content, and gave final approval of the manuscript to be published.

Competing interests

Dr. Gelaye has consulted for Egalet Corporation for an unrelated project. Dr. Peterlin has unrelated investigator-initiated grant support from Egalet Corporation and the Landenberger Foundation. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Participants provided written informed consent. All study procedures were approved by the INMP in Lima, Peru, and the Office of Human Research Administration at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lauren E. Friedman.

Additional information

Christina Aponte and Rigoberto Perez Hernandez contributed equally to this work.

Additional files

Additional file 1: Table S1.

Socio-demographic and reproductive characteristics of the study population according to PTSD a in Lima, Peru (N = 2922). (DOCX 36 kb)

Additional file 2: Table S2.

Association between migraine and PTSD a during pregnancy (N = 2922). (DOCX 31 kb)

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Friedman, L.E., Aponte, C., Perez Hernandez, R. et al. Migraine and the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder among a cohort of pregnant women. J Headache Pain 18, 67 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-017-0775-5

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-017-0775-5

Keywords

  • Migraine
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • PTSD
  • Pregnancy