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Violence at home increases risk of migraine in children: Study

Migraine (Photo:www.mapped-project.eu0

Migraine (Photo:www.mapped-project.eu)

Domestic violence poses many threats – depression, insecurity and suicide. According to recent data by World Health Organization, 35 percent of women have gone through domestic violence either from intimate partner or non-partner sexual abuse, in their lives.

Statistics provided by Domestic Abuse Shelter say that every year 4,000 women die in America due to domestic violence.

Witnesses of domestic violence such as family, friends or children are also prone to its negative effects – most significantly being abused by the abuser themselves. A new study has now found that being a witness of domestic violence at home or subjected to physical or sexual abuse can put a child at risk of having migraine in adulthood by 60 percent.

Esme Fuller who is a professor of University of Toronto and co-author of the study found the revelation of a link between witnessing parental domestic violence and migraines to be “most surprising.”

The research revealed that exposure to domestic violence increased the odds of migraine in men and women by 52 percent and 64 percent, respectively – much higher than other variables like socioeconomic status, history of depression and anxiety or even experience of physical or sexual abuse in childhood, in comparison to those who didn’t witness it.

Samples of 12,638 women and 10,358 men aged 18 or over from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health, were examined for the research.

Sarah Brennenstuhl, also from University of Toronto and the first author of the study stated that those who reported all three forms of hardships at home – parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse, the odd of migraines were a little over three times for men and just below three times for women.

“We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine,” Brennenstuhl added.

The researchers haven’t found any reason behind the link between violence at home and migraine, but just the connection. However, they contemplate that it might be stress that arises both from watching violence to being a victim of it and amends the structure of the brain.

Domestic violence is a serious concern that even today prevails in the society. In olden times as well as now, women are more likely to become a victim – being considered as the secondary or more significantly ‘weaker sex’. However, even today when the world is evolving, mentalities are changing and people are growing accustomed to women being empowered in every sphere, domestic violence continues to loom over.

As in case of rape, experts say that domestic violence is an expression of showing power and control over another – in maximum cases, women. However, men also get abused.

This new research shows that domestic violence – be it witnessing or experiencing, only disrupts the happy and normal order of one’s life, and it should be eradicated completely.

The study was published online the journal Headache.

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