Sex differences in the clinical manifestations related to dependence behaviors in medication-overuse headache

Yen Feng Wang*, Yi Shiang Tzeng, Chia Chun Yu, Yu Hsiang Ling, Shih Pin Chen, Kuan Lin Lai, Wei Ta Chen, Shuu Jiun Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The present study aimed to compare sex differences in the clinical manifestations related to dependence behaviors in medication-overuse headache (MOH). Methods: Consecutive patients with newly diagnosed chronic migraine (CM) with and without MOH based on the Third Edition of International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3) were enrolled prospectively from the headache clinic of a tertiary medical center. Demographics and clinical profiles were collected by using a questionnaire, which included current use of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages, the Leeds Dependence Questionnaire (LDQ), the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS), the Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6), and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Results: In total, 1419 CM patients (1135F/284 M, mean age 41.7 ± 13.9 years) were recruited, including 799 with MOH (640F/159 M, mean age 42.5 ± 13.2 years) (56.3%). Smoking was associated with an increased risk for MOH in men (odds ratio [OR] = 3.60 [95% confidence interval = 1.73–7.50], p = 0.001), but not in women (OR = 1.34 [0.88–2.04], p = 0.171) (p = 0.021 for interaction). Hypnotic use ≥ 3 days/week was a risk factor for MOH (OR = 2.55 [95% confidence interval = 2.00–3.24], p < 0.001), regardless of sex. By using receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves, the cutoff scores of the LDQ for MOH were determined at 7 for women and 6 for men, and those for the SDS were 5 and 4, respectively (area under curve all ≥ 0.83). Among patients with MOH, the male sex was associated with a shorter latency between migraine onset and CM onset (12.9 ± 11.1 vs. 15.4 ± 11.5 years, p = 0.008), despite less average headache intensity (6.7 ± 1.9 vs. 7.2 ± 1.9, p = 0.005), functional impacts (HIT-6: 63.4 ± 8.3 vs. 65.1 ± 8.0, p = 0.009), and sleep disturbances (PSQI: 10.9 ± 4.4 vs. 12.2 ± 4.3, p = 0.001). Conclusions: The current study identified an association between smoking and MOH in men, as well as sex-specific cutoffs of the LDQ and the SDS, for MOH. MOH was characterized by a shorter latency between migraine onset and CM onset in men and a more severe phenotype in women. Sex should be considered as an important factor in the evaluation of MOH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number145
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Chronic migraine
  • Dependence
  • Diagnosis
  • Medication-overuse headache
  • Sex differences
  • Smoking

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