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Screening for bipolar disorder among migraineurs: the impact of migraine–bipolar disorder comorbidity on disease characteristics

Authors Kivilcim Y, Altintas M, Domac FM, Erzincan E, Gülec H

Received 3 September 2016

Accepted for publication 23 January 2017

Published 1 March 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 631—641


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Yigit Kivilcim,1 Merih Altintas,1 Fusun Mayda Domac,2 Erkal Erzincan,1 Huseyin Gülec1

1Department of Psychiatry, 2Department of Neurology, Erenköy Mental and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of comorbid bipolar disorder (BD) among migraineurs and the impact of migraine–BD comorbidity on disease characteristics.
Patients and methods: A total of 120 adult patients diagnosed with migraine at a single tertiary care center were included in this cross-sectional study. Data on sociodemographic and migraine-related characteristics, family history of psychiatric diseases, comorbid psychiatric diseases, and first-episode characteristics were recorded. Mood Disorders Diagnosis and Patient Registration Form (SCIP-TURK), Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), and Hypomania Checklist-32-Revised (HCL-32-R) were applied to all patients by experienced clinicians, and clinical diagnoses were confirmed using Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I). Migraine Disability Assessment Scale (MIDAS) was used to evaluate the headache-related disability. Study parameters were compared between migraineurs with and without comorbid BD.
Results: The diagnosis of comorbid BD was confirmed in 19.2% of migraineurs. A significantly higher percentage of patients with comorbid BD than those without comorbid BD had family history of BD (39.1% vs 6.2%, P<0.001), suicide attempt (30.4% vs 5.2%, P<0.001), and physical abuse (52.2% vs 26.8%, P=0.019). MIDAS scores were significantly higher (50.6 [43.2] vs 33.8 [42.7], P=0.0422) in migraineurs with comorbid BD than in those without comorbid BD. Multivariate logistic regression model revealed that a positive family history of type I BD (odds ratio [OR], 14.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.94–70.73; P=0.001) and MIDAS scores >30 (OR, 3.69; 95% CI, 1.12–12.19; P=0.032) were associated with 14.42 times and 3.69 times increased likelihood of BD, respectively.
Conclusion: Our findings revealed comorbid BD in a remarkable percentage of migraineurs and a higher likelihood of having BD in case of a positive family history of type I BD and MIDAS scores >30. Comorbid BD was associated with a higher rate for a family history of BD, suicide attempt, and childhood physical abuse as well as aggravated migraine-related disability among migraineurs. Migraineurs with and without comorbid BD showed similar sociodemographic and migraine disease characteristics as well as similar high rates for comorbid anxiety and first-episode depression.

Keywords: migraine, bipolar disorder, comorbidity, suicide attempt, MIDAS, depression

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