Headache and anxiety–depressive disorder comorbidity: the HADAS study
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Psychiatric comorbidity (prevalence and types) was tested in a naturalistic sample of adult patients with pure migraine without aura, and in two control groups of patients, one experiencing pure tension-type headache and the other combined migraine and tension-type headaches. The study population included 374 patients (158, 110 and 106) from nine Italian secondary and tertiary centres. Psychiatric comorbidity was recorded through structured interview and also screened with the Mini International Neuropsychiatry Interview (MINI). Only anxiety and depression were investigated. Psychiatric disorders were reported by 49 patients (14.6%; 10.9% of patients with migraine, 12.8% of those with tension-type headache and 21.4% of those with combined migraine and tension-type headaches). The MINI interview detected a depressive episode in 59.9% of patients with migraine, 68.3% of patients with tension-type headache and 69.6% of patients with combined migraine and tension-type headaches. Depression subtypes were significantly different across groups (p=0.03). Anxiety (mostly generalised) was reported by 18.4% of patients with migraine, 19.3% of patients with tension-type headache, and 18.4% of patients with combined migraine and tension-type headaches. The values for panic disturbance were 12.7, 5.5 and 14.2, and those for obsessive–compulsive disorders were 2.3, 1.1 and 9.4% (p=0.009). Based on these results, psychopathology of primary headache can be a reflection of the burden of the disease rather than a hallmark of a specific headache category.