A research team from the University of Cincinnati (UC), Montefiore Headache Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Vedanta Research has released results of a study finding that people who experience occasional migraine headaches and who also suffer from pre-existing asthma may be at greater risk for chronic migraine attacks. The study appears online in the journal Headache. The conclusions are drawn from examination of close to 4500 patients who experienced episodic migraine (fewer than 15 incidents per month) during 2008. Richard Lipton, MD, director of Montefiore Headache Center and vice chair of neurology, commented “Migraine and asthma are disorders that involve inflammation and activation of smooth muscle either in blood vessels or in the airways. Therefore, asthma-related inflammation may lead to migraine progression.”
The team analyzed data from an American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study. Based on questionnaire responses, participants were divided into 2 groups, 1 with episodic migraine and coexisting asthma and a second with episodic migraine and no asthma. In comparison to those without asthma, the adjusted odds for individuals with asthma and episodic migraine in 2008 to develop chronic migraine the following year were greater than 2 to 1. According to the study abstract, “The exact mechanisms underlying this association are unknown, but could suggest mast cell degranulation, autonomic dysfunction, or shared genetic or environmental factors.”
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Read a news story about the research here.
The journal abstract may be read here.