Explaining Disparities in Severe Headache and Migraine Among Sexual Minority Adults in the United States, 2013-2018.

Research paper by Kevin C KC Heslin

Indexed on: 22 Aug '20Published on: 21 Aug '20Published in: The Journal of nervous and mental disease


Previous work has not examined how the association of sexual orientation and severe headache/migraine may be explained by differences between sexual minorities and heterosexuals in sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. Using data from the 2013-2018 National Health Interview Survey, regression decomposition was used to identify determinants of disparities in headache/migraine between sexual minorities collectively and heterosexuals, as well as between bisexual men and gay men, and bisexual women and lesbians. The prevalence of headache/migraine was the highest among bisexual women (36.8%), followed by lesbians (24.7%), bisexual men (22.8%), heterosexual women (19.7%), gay men (14.8%), and heterosexual men (9.8%). Across all models, the largest percentage of the disparity between sexual orientation/gender groups was attributable to age (range, 18.3%-42.2%), serious psychological distress (range, 6.6%-14.0%), and hours of regular sleep (range, 1.7%-8.2%). Although age accounted for the largest part of the disparity in headache/migraine by sexual orientation, several modifiable risk factors also played a role.