Asthma increases chronic migraine risk twofold according to a new research conducted by scientists with the University of Cincinnati and the Montefiore Headache Center.
According to the findings of the study, having asthma and migraines doubles the risk of developing chronic migraines. The research team looked at the association of the two conditions as both are caused by inflammation. Asthma is caused by the inflammation of one’s airways, while migraines are caused by the inflammation of blood vessels in the brain.
Even if the two conditions are not related, they may be triggered by the same allergens found in our environment. In turn, the researchers suggest that in those cases where allergies are the common denominator, a more aggressive treatment path is sought.
The National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke released a report stating that an estimated 12 percent of the Americans suffers from migraines. While the condition is common with men as well, women represent the majority of migraine patients, with their number exceeding that of men three times. Chronic migraine also accounts for a large percentage of the population. Chronic migraine is defined as suffering from headaches for more than 15 days monthly. As per CDC reports, 7 percent of the U.S adults also suffer from asthma.
The research was conducted on medical data and surveys including 4,446 people with an average age of 50.4. 80.8 percent of the participants in the study were women. The researchers created two groups: people with asthma and people without asthma. All of the participants had completed surveys over a period of two years, in 2008 and 2009.
The surveys included questions on depression, smoking status, episodic migraines, the participants’ headache frequency, as well as medication. In the 2008 survey, 17 percent of the participants declared they suffered from asthma. By 2009, 2.9 percent of the participants had already developed chronic migraines. Of these, 2.5 did not have asthma in 2008, while another 5.4 were part of the participants who reported having the condition.
Crunching the numbers, the research team found that asthma increases chronic migraine risk twofold. Doctor Vincent Martin with the University of Cincinnati declared that the likelihood of developing chronic migraines increased drastically if patients also suffer from asthma.
As per the link with allergies, the research team highlighted that previous studies have suggested asthma also triggers more allergies. At the same time, allergies are linked with increased number of headache episodes. As such, it may be useful to target allergies more aggressively in patients also suffering from asthma in order to curb the development of chronic migraines.
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