Background: Behaviors of substance dependence are common among patients with medication-overuse headache (MOH). Whether MOH, like other substance use disorders, is associated with an increased risk for suicide is unknown. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, newly diagnosed chronic migraine (CM) patients with or without coexisting MOH were enrolled prospectively. Headache diagnoses were made through face-to-face interviews by headache specialists, and a specifically designed questionnaire was used to collect demographics, headache profiles, Migraine Disability Assessment, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, etc. Suicidal ideation and prior suicide attempt were specifically questioned. Results: In total, 603 CM patients (485F/118M, mean age 42.03 ± 12.18 years) were recruited, including 320 with MOH (257F/63M, mean age 42.8 ± 11.7 years) (53.1%), and 214 (35.5%) and 81 (13.4%) had suicidal ideation and prior suicide attempt, respectively. Among CM patients, the presence of MOH increased the risks of suicidal ideation (odds ratio [OR] = 1.75 [95% CI = 1.20–2.56], p = 0.004) and prior suicide attempt (OR = 1.88 [1.09–3.24], p = 0.024), after controlling for demographics, headache profile, disabilities, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and sleep quality. Conclusions: In CM patients, MOH is associated with an increased risk for suicidal ideation and prior suicide attempt, which deserves attention for clinicians taking care of headache patients. However, further studies are needed to determine the causal relationship, as well as the underlying pathophysiology.
- Medication-overuse headache
- Substance dependence