LGB people get migraines 58 percent more than heterosexual people according to a new study out of University of California, San Francisco that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology.
The study’s lead author Dr. Jason Nagata told Reuters they do not understand the reason why LGB people get more migraines but suggested stress induced by “discrimination, stigma or prejudice” might be a factor, and said “physicians should be aware” that migraines are more common in these individuals.
Reuters adds: “LGB people may be at higher risk for migraines also due to barriers of receiving health care, Nagata added. … Other studies have shown disparities in migraine prevalence by gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. As many as 85% of Americans who suffer from migraines are women, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, a U.S. based nonprofit that researches migraine treatments.”
AJMC adds: “The sample consisted of 9894 adults with a mean age of 37.33. Migraine was determined based on self-reported responses to an interview question consistent with the International Classification of Headache Disorders diagnostic criteria for migraine without aura: ‘Have you ever had five or more headaches that were at least four hours long; one-sided, pulsating, intense, or worsened by activity; and associated with nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light or sound?’ Participants were classified into 3 groups: exclusively heterosexual; mostly heterosexual but somewhat attracted to people of one’s own sex; or lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Fifty-one percent (n = 5705) of the sample were women and the majority (n = 8426 [85.8%]) identified as exclusively heterosexual. Ten percent (n = 1062) identified as mostly heterosexual while 4.2% (n = 406) identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.”
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