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Why women are more prone to suffer from migraines

Rachel Lowe, 50, (L) talks to Dr Coley King about her migraines as part of a street medicine program between Venice Family Clinic and St Joseph Homeless Day Center in Venice, Los Angeles, California, February 16, 2011. The program aims to take free medical care to around 50 of the most at risk homeless people on the street and in shelters so they are less likely to need expensive hospitalization, and to provide them with housing. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY HEALTH)

Migraines, which rank as one of the top 20 most disabling medical illnesses in the world, remain extremely common, affecting more than 36 million people in the United States alone and nearly three times as more women than men.

A Canadian study by Sarah Brennenstuhl and Esme Fuller-Thomson, published in Headache, showed that exposure to parental domestic violence during childhood increased risk of migraine, Salon.com reported.

Other studies have indicated similar trends, with an April 2014 study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research by Suat Kucukgoncu, et al., also showing higher rates of childhood emotional abuse in patients with migraine and also patients with regular tension-type headaches in this study.

More physical abuse histories correlated with increased duration and chronicity of headache in these patients. Other past studies like Dawn Buse’s in the November 2012 Journal of Neurology have also shown some correlation between PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and migraine. (ANI)