29 Sep Higher Risk of Migraine in LGBT Community
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jason Nagata, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Although prior research has identified disparities in migraine by race and sex, little was previously known about disparities in migraine by sexual orientation.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: In a national sample of nearly 10,000 adults in the USA, we found that nearly one third of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals have experienced a migraine. Overall, we found that lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals had 58% higher odds of experiencing a migraine compared to heterosexual individuals. We also found that individuals who identified as mostly heterosexual but with some same-sex attractions were more likely to experience a migraine compared to those who identified as exclusively heterosexual.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Readers and clinicians should be aware that nearly one third of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in this large national sample experienced a migraine. Clinicians can assess for migraine symptoms in their lesbian, gay, or bisexual patients. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people may experience homophobia and discrimination which can lead to stress and trigger a migraine. They may also face barriers to accessing health care which can lead to worsened health.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research should investigate specific factors that account for the higher migraine risk among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Future research could identify other health conditions that may disproportionately affect lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Health care providers should create an inclusive, welcoming, and safe environment for sexual and gender minority patients. This could include providing posters, brochures, or educational materials about sexual and gender minority health concerns, posting a non-discrimination statement, and customizing patient intake forms to be inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations.
I have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Nagata JM, Ganson KT, Tabler J, Blashill AJ, Murray SB. Disparities Across Sexual Orientation in Migraine Among US Adults. JAMA Neurol. Published online September 28, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.3406
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