Adolescent Children Are Affected
by Their Parents’ Migraines
Children of parents with migraine miss family and social activities
and may not receive needed help.
SAN DIEGO—Adolescents and young adults miss out on
family outings, become distracted at school, and are otherwise substantially impacted by their parents’ migraine,
according to the results of a cross-sectional, longitudinal
study. This is particularly true of children whose parents
have chronic migraine (CM) versus episodic migraine (EM),
reported Dawn C. Buse, PhD, at the 58th Annual Scientific
Meeting of the American Headache Society, “This finding is
not surprising. When more days are affected by migraine,
the family is more likely to experience disruptions,” she
noted. The study also demonstrated that adolescents whose
parents have CM are significantly more likely than children
of parents who have EM to have moderate or severe anxiety.
Assessing Family Burden
The Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes
(CaMEO) Study recruited a demographically representative sample of the US population using an Internet panel.
Of nearly 490,000 invitees, 16,789 respondents met International Classification of Headache Disorders-3β criteria
for migraine. Investigators categorized these respondents
as having CM (ie, 15 or more headache days/month for
the past three months) or EM (ie, fewer than 15 headache
days/month for the past three months).
For the current analysis, Dr. Buse, Director of Behav-
ioral Medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center in
Bronx, New York, and colleagues examined data from the
Family Burden Module of the CaMEO Study. Parents were
asked to nominate a cohabitating child, grandchild, step-
child, or child for whom they were a guardian to partici-
pate in the study and form a parent–adolescent dyad. Links
to the surveys were emailed to the invited adolescents
between ages 13 and 21. The adolescents completed the
confidential surveys themselves.
Disrupted Social Interactions
In all 3,417 emails were sent, and 1,411 surveys were completed by 168 (11.9%) adolescents who had a parent with
CM and 1,243 (88.1%) adolescents who had a parent with
EM. When asked, “Because of your parent’s headache, how
many times in the past 30 days did you need help from your
parent and couldn’t get it?” 50% of those with parents with
CM responded affirmatively, as did 27% of children of parents with EM.
Similarly, 36% and 16% of children of a parent with
CM and EM, respectively, found it hard to concentrate
on schoolwork or get homework done; 46% and 22%
AMERICAN HEADACHE SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING
Dawn C. Buse, PhD
2016 Meeting AHS
Highlights From the
Adolescents whose parents have chronic
migraine are significantly more likely than
children of parents who have episodic
migraine to have moderate or severe anxiety.
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