The results of this study were presented on July 1 at the 84th annual conference of the International Economic Association of Western Countries, in Vancouver.
“This study shows that migraines represent a major obstacle to success in university studies”, explains Joseph Sabia. “The study shows that students with migraines are less often present than others at school and have concentration problems”.
The two researchers analyzed data on siblings from a national study of adolescent health.
“By studying the differences between siblings, we can be sure that the socio-economic level of the family plays no role in the relationship between migraine and school performance,” said Daniel Rees.
The authors found that suffering from migraines is associated with a 5% reduction in high school grades, a 5% drop in the chance of advancing to the next grade in high school, and a 15% reduction in the chance of reaching the university.
Between 30 to 40% of these reductions can be explained by school absences, difficulty concentrating in class, and difficulty in returning homework. Young people with headaches without migraine are not affected by these performance reductions.
The two researchers examined the migraine experiences and high school grades of 214 siblings from 105 families. Information about going to college was obtained from 280 siblings from 137 families.