Clinical Edge Journal Scan

How COVID-19 pandemic affected headache-related disability in young adults with migraine


Key clinical point: The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected psychological functioning in young US college students with migraine and increased depression and anxiety, attenuating potential improvements achieved in headache-related disability during the pandemic.

Major finding: Levels of depression, anxiety, and stress were significantly higher during vs before the COVID-19 pandemic (all P .01), whereas headache-related disability was lower (direct effect [c′] 1.6; 95% CI 3.1 to 0.1). However, anxiety (indirect effect [b] 0.3; 95% CI 0.01-0.9) and depression (b 0.7; 95% CI 0.07-1.4) mediated an increase in headache-related disability during vs before the pandemic, thereby canceling improvements achieved during the pandemic.

Study details: This cross-sectional study included 365 undergraduate students aged 18 years with episodic migraine with or without aura or chronic migraine who were surveyed before (n = 223) or during (n = 142) the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disclosures: This study did not receive any specific funding. TA Smitherman reported previously serving on the advisory board for Teva Pharmaceuticals (unrelated to this study).

Source: Thaxter LY and Smitherman TA. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on headache-related disability among young adults with migraine. Headache. 2022;62(10):1293-1301 (Nov 23). Doi: 10.1111/head.14411

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