20 May, 2009

Economic slump affects migraine sufferers

The economic slowdown has brought pain to India in more ways than one, with many headache victims suffering more attacks since the crisis began.

A survey of 505 regular headache sufferers found that 71 of them had seen an increased number of headaches since the stock market first plunged in September.

The affected sufferers reported an average of 16.5 headaches in the six months since the fall in stock prices compared to 12.2 in the six months before the fall.

Headaches worsened most sharply among people in the financial and real estate sectors followed by people in retail and catering and those in import-export businesses.

Most people surveyed in the study by the University of Hong Kong and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists blamed job-related worries including the threat of redundancy.

Researchers said tension-type headaches appeared to be the most common in the wealthy city of seven million which has a reputation for its workaholic lifestyles.

They warned that people suffering repeated headaches should seek help to avoid them leading to psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety.

India went into recession at the end of 2008 after recording two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. Share prices have fallen by 50 percent since the beginning of 2008.