Children who have undergone abuse of any nature including emotional, physical or sexual, are more likely to be prone to repeated bouts of headaches or even chronic migraine when they become adults, a recent research has found.

Researchers at the University Of Toledo College Of Medicine used data from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) to prove a correlation between the occurrence of frequent headaches and graded relationships amongst adults who had a history of childhood maltreatment.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted on the links between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. It was a collaborative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) members.

Those who participated in the survey underwent a comprehensive physical examination and gave detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. Over 17,000 members participate in the survey which has provided data for over 50 scientific articles that has been published so far.

The research team led by Gretchen E. Tietjen studied the case histories of 17,337 adults from the San Diego area and found eight of them had suffered emotional, physical or sexual abuse in the form of domestic violence, or had a member of family with a mental illness as they grew up, or people in the household abusing drugs, or children who were from broken families.

Each of these samples increased the probability of fast occurring headaches and as the number of ACE increases so did the risk of frequent headaches. She said that this co relation may deduce that ACEs may be vital in the development and the frequency of severe headaches as adults.

David Dodick, President of the American Health Service (AHS) held the view that earlier studies too have shown a correlation between the frequent headaches and migraines to childhood abuse. The biological facts underlying this relationship too needs to be the target for future research and doctors should be aware that it would be vital in evaluating and facilitating the appropriate strategy for its management.

The latest research paper was presented at the American Headache Society's 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles last week.