The Relationship Between Exercise and Migrane Characteristics: Do Depression and Anxiety Play a Role?
Ovryn, Lorri Reynard
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Objective. To explore the relationship between exercise frequency and migraine headache days, intensity and migraine-related disability. Additionally, the relationship between the above migraine characteristics and anxiety and depression was examined. Methods. Data was from the 2007 American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) study, which is a population-based, self-administered headache questionnaire. Headache diagnosis was determined based on the criteria proposed by the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders. The current study included 7746 episodic (headache frequency 0-14 days a month) migraineurs. Exercise frequency was determined by a question which asked an open-ended question about how many times in a week do they exercise enough to break a sweat. Headache pain was measured on a visual analog scale from 1-10. Migraine-related disability was measured using the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire. Results. When comparing none-low (0 -- 4) migraine frequency to medium/high (5 -- 14), exercising 1-4 times a week protects against higher migraine frequency compared to no exercise, when adjusting for age, education and gender, with an odds ratio of 0.8 (95% CI 0.7 -- 0.9). 2 Exercise did not significantly protect against higher headache pain intensity, with an odds ratio of 0.9 (95% CI 0.7 -- 1.2) at the highest level of exercise, or migraine-related disability, with an odds ratio of 0.9 (95% CI 0.7 -- 1.0). Anxiety predicted migraine frequency with an odds ratio of 3.6 (95% CI 2.3 -- 5.7), headache pain intensity with an odds ratio of 1.89 (95% CI 1.5 -- 2.3), and migraine-related disability with an odds ratio of 4.1 (95% CI 3.3 -- 5.1). Depression predicted migraine frequency with an odds ratio of 3.2 (95% CI 2.2 -- 4.7), headache pain intensity, with an odds ratio of 2.1 (95% CI 1.6 -- 2.7) and migraine-related disability 4.1 (95% CI 3.2 - 5.3). Conclusions. The data from this research indicate that exercising 1-4 times a week significantly predicts migraine frequency, but not headache pain intensity or migraine-related disability. Anxiety and depression predict migraine frequency, headache pain intensity and migraine-related disability.