Association Between Migraine and Suicidal Behaviors

A Nationwide Study in the USA

Lauren E. Friedman, PhD; Qiu-Yue Zhong, MD, ScM; Bizu Gelaye, PhD, MPH; Michelle A. Williams, ScD; B. Lee Peterlin, DO


Headache. 2018;58(3):371-380. 

In This Article


Overall, migraine diagnosis was associated with increased odds of suicidal behaviors in a national inpatient sample. However, when analyses were performed within strata defined by psychiatric diagnosis, associations of migraine with suicidal behaviors were inverse or null among those with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or PTSD, respectively. It is possible that migraineurs with diagnosed comorbid psychiatric disorders are receiving care, including medication or therapy that mitigates their risk for suicidal behaviors. Our study identifies high risk populations for suicidal behaviors, which should be further investigated for appropriate screening measures and targeted interventions. Future studies are needed to investigate the effects of comorbid psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD, on the association between migraine and suicidal behaviors. Our study highlights the importance of routine hospital screening and expanded research into treatment options for these comorbid conditions.