Child abuse victims 'more prone to headaches'
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Feb 2009 / inthenews.co.uk
Children who are the victims of physical or sexual abuse are more likely to suffer from headaches as adults, research has shown.
In a study involving 18,000 people from ten countries, scientists from Hong Kong discovered an association between adult-onset headaches and mental health or drug problems, or among people whose families had displayed violent or criminal behaviour.
"Our results show that childhood family adversities may predispose individuals to adult onset headache," the researchers, from Prince of Wales hospital, write in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
In total, 11.3 per cent of participants suffered frequent or severe headaches.
Researchers found that the association was linear, meaning that the more types of adversity suffered in childhood the higher the likelihood of headaches.
The cause of headaches remain unclear, with previous research suggesting sufferers have poor coping skills and that the areas of the brain activated during emotional distress are also activated during physical pain.