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Is iron-deficiency anemia associated with migraine? Is there a role for anxiety and depression?



In this study, we determined the frequency of migraine headache in iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) patients and whether it was related to anxiety, depression, and somatization.


We included 127 consecutive IDA patients into the study. All patients were asked validated questions about headache and migraine face-to-face. They were administered validated questionnaires for anxiety-depression The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and somatization. The quality of life (QoL) disturbance associated with headache was marked on a 0–10 VAS.


Of all IDA patients, 79.5 % defined headache at any time of their life. In addition, 36.2 % of all IDA patients defined the criteria for migraine. IDA patients with migraine were more frequently smokers and had significantly lower hemoglobin and mean corpuscular volume values (p values < 0.05). The IDA group with migraine had significantly higher mean anxiety score (p = 0.046) and headache-related QoL disturbance score (p = 0.021) than the IDA group without migraine. Migraine patients with aura had lower hemoglobin values (p = 0.02), higher depression scores (p = 0.005), and higher migraine-related QoL disturbance scores than others.


IDA patients have a high frequency of migraine headache. The presence of anxiety and depression have great influence on the presence of migraine in IDA patients.

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Correspondence to Gülsüm Emel Pamuk MD.

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Pamuk, G., Top, M., Uyanık, M. et al. Is iron-deficiency anemia associated with migraine? Is there a role for anxiety and depression?. Wien Klin Wochenschr 128, 576–580 (2016).

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  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Migraine
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Depression