University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Migraine associated with early onset postpartum depression in women with major depressive disorder

Gordon-Smith, Katherine ORCID:, Ridley, P., Perry, Amy ORCID:, Craddock, N., Jones, I. and Jones, Lisa ORCID: (2021) Migraine associated with early onset postpartum depression in women with major depressive disorder. Archives of Women's Mental Health. ISSN Print: 1434-1816 Electronic: 1435-1102

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Major depressive disorder (MDD) and migraine are both more common among women than men. Women’s reproductive years are associated with increased susceptibility to recurrence of both conditions, suggesting a potential role of sex hormonesin aetiology. We examined associations between comorbid migraine and clinical features of MDD in women, including relationships with lifetime reproductive events such as childbirth. Lifetime clinical characteristics and reproductive events in a well-characterised sample of 222 UK women with recurrent MDD, with (n = 98) and without (n = 124) migraine were compared. Women had all been recruited as part of a UK-based ongoing programme of research into the genetic and nongenetic determinants of mood disorders. Multivariate analysis showed a specific association between the lifetime presence of migraine and postpartum depression (PPD) within 6 weeks of delivery (OR = 2.555; 95% CI: 1.037–6.295, p = 0.041). This association did not extend to a broader definition of PPD with onset up to 6 months postpartum. All other factors included in the analysis were not significantly associated with the presence of migraine: family history of depression, younger age at depression onset, history of suicide attempt and severe premenstrual syndrome symptoms. The finding that women with MDD and comorbid migraine may be particularly sensitive to hormonal changes early in the postpartum period leads to aetiological hypotheses and suggests this group may be useful for future studies attempting to characterise PPD and MDD phenotypes. The refinement of such phenotypes has implications for individualising risk and treatment and for future biological
and genetic studies.

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Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: major depressive disorder, migraine, women, lifetime reproductive events, postpartum depression
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Copyright Info: Open Access article (UW Springer OA agreement)
Depositing User: Katherine Gordon-Smith
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2021 08:01
Last Modified: 12 May 2021 11:04

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