Psychiatric comorbidity and suicide risk in adolescents with chronic daily headache

Worried and unwell: Panic and migraine are highly comorbid, in Taiwan too.
 NEUROLOGY 2007;68:1468-1473
? 2007
American Academy of Neurology

Psychiatric comorbidity and suicide risk in adolescents with chronic daily headache

Shuu-Jiun Wang, MD, Kai-Dih Juang, MD, Jong-Ling Fuh, MD and Shiang-Ru Lu, MD

From the Departments of Neurology (S.-J.W., J.-L.F.) and Psychiatry (K.-D.J.), National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei; Neurological Institute (S.-J.W., J.-L.F.), Taipei Veterans General Hospital; and the Department of Neurology (S.-R.L.), Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Shuu-Jiun Wang, The Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, 112, Taiwan

Objectives: To investigate the prevalence and correlates of comorbid psychiatric disorders and suicidal risk in community-based adolescents with chronic daily headache (CDH).

Methods: We identified and recruited 122 adolescents with CDH from a non-referral student sample (n = 7,900). CDH subtypes were classified according to the most updated criteria of the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-2). An in-person psychiatric interview was performed with each subject with CDH to assess depressive and anxiety disorders and suicidal risk based on the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview–Kid (MINI-Kid). Clinical correlates and impacts were investigated.

Results: A total of 121 subjects (31 male/90 female, mean age 13.8 years) finished the psychiatric interview. Fifty-seven subjects (47%) had ?1 assessed psychiatric comorbidity with major depression (21%) and panic disorder (19%) as the two most common diagnoses. Current suicidal risk was assessed as high (score ? 10) in 20% of subjects. Female gender and older age were associated with depressive disorders. Presence of migraine was associated with psychiatric comorbidities (OR = 3.5, p = 0.002). The associations with psychiatric disorders were stronger for migraine with aura than for migraine without aura. Migraine with aura also independently predicted a high suicidal risk (score ? 10) (adjusted OR = 6.0, p = 0.028). In contrast, CDH subtypes, headache frequencies, or medication overuse were not correlated. Comorbid psychiatric disorders were not related to physician consultations or more days of sick leave.

Conclusions: This community-based study showed high comorbidity of psychiatric disorders and suicidal risk in adolescents with chronic daily headache. The presence of migraine attacks, especially migraine with aura, was the major predictor for these associations.

Received October 17, 2006. Accepted in final form December 31,