THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- More than 30 percent of individuals with migraine experience migraine-related stigma often or very often, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in Neurology.
Robert E. Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., from the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington, and colleagues examined the association between migraine-related stigma with migraine outcomes in a study involving people identified with active migraine using a validated migraine diagnostic questionnaire. The frequency of experiencing migraine-related stigma was assessed using a 12-item questionnaire (Migraine-Related Stigma [MiRS]), which included two factors: feeling that others perceived that migraine was used for "Secondary Gain" and feeling that others were "Minimizing Burden."
The researchers found that 41.1 percent of the 59,001 respondents with active migraine reported experiencing at least four monthly headache days, and 31.7 percent experienced migraine-related stigma often/very often. There was an increase observed in the proportion experiencing migraine-related stigma often/very often from 25.5 to 47.5 percent among those with fewer than four and 15 or more monthly headache days, respectively. The risk for increased disability was significant for each MiRS group versus the MiRS-Never group; the MiRS-Both (Secondary Gain and Minimizing Burden often/very often) group had a more than twofold increased risk (rate ratio, 2.68). There was an association seen between increased migraine-related stigma and increased disease burden across all monthly headache day categories for disability, interictal burden, and migraine-specific quality of life.
"Clarifying the mechanisms that link stigma to health outcomes could set the stage for interventions that may reduce the burdens of migraine across the full spectrum of headache frequency," the authors write.
Several authors disclosed ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly, which funded the study.