Researchers have found that more than two thirds of patients with chronic migraine believe their condition affects their sexual intimacy and that it makes their spouse’s life difficult. The study also found that patients feel guilty and worried about the effect their headaches have on their partner and children.

Dawn Buse, PhD, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Montefiore Headache Center, Bronx, New York said, “Our research team believes it’s very important to bring these data to light, to show that chronic migraine is a burdensome and difficult condition, not only for the people who live with it, but also for the people they love.”

“We hope that these data will raise awareness among family members, coworkers, society, healthcare providers, insurers, and government agencies who fund research, so that the magnitude of the effects of chronic migraine is more fully understood.”

Dr. Buse will present the research in Los Angeles at the American Headache Society (AHS) 56th Annual Scientific Meeting.

The analysis showed that:

*  64.1% of respondents feel their headaches make their partners lives difficult

*  72.5% feel they would be better partners if they didn’t have headache

*  70.2% are easily angered or annoyed by their partners because of headache

*  67.2% avoid sexual intimacy because of their headaches

*  64.4% feel guilty about how their headaches affect their partner

*  59.1% believe they would be better parents if they didn’t have headaches

*  20% missed planned family vacation within the previous year, and

*  53.6% had less enjoyment while on vacation because of headaches.

Dr. Buse hopes research will give clinicians a better idea of the burden it places on patients, and encourages them to be persistent in diagnosing chronic migraine and providing appropriate treatment plans. She also would like to see 3rd-party payers, policymakers and government agencies that fund research to recognize the effect on families and earmark funds for relevant research and care.

“Families are the heart of our society. We need to do everything that we can to nurture, support and protect them,” said Buse.     medscape 6/27/14


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