Migraine is associated with an increased risk of hypertension in menopausal women

April 21, 2021

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MacDonald reports that it was funded by the Federal Federation Française de Cardiologie. Please see the study for all relevant financial discoveries of all other authors.


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Women with migraine had an increased risk of postmenopausal hypertension, but there were no significant differences between migraines with and without aura, according to a longitudinal cohort study launched in 1990.

“Migraine, especially migraine with aura, has been identified as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” Conor James MacDonald, PhD, The French Institute of Health and Medical Research and the Center for Epidemiology and Population Health Research at the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France, and colleagues wrote in Neurology. “It’s less clear how a history of migraine could be linked to postmenopausal hypertension.”

MacDonald and colleagues conducted a prospective longitudinal cohort study on 56,202 women aged 40 to 65 years at baseline who did not have hypertension or CVD when menopause began (mean menopausal age 50.4 years). Participants completed questionnaires every 2 to 3 years from 1990 to 2014 and self-reported whether they had migraine or hypertension. The researchers used insurance data to check for migraines and hypertension. They completed a secondary analysis to assess migraine in relation to an aura without it; data collection for this analysis began in 2011.

Among 12,501 cases of incidental hypertension, 3,100 occurred in women with migraine and 9,401 in women without migraine. Menopausal women with migraine had an increased risk of hypertension (HR = 1.29; 95% CI, 1.24-1.35); the researchers wrote that this association also existed when controlling migraine medications and other post-hoc susceptibility analyzes.

According to the researchers, the association between migraine and hypertension was similar among women with migraine who did but did not report an aura, but there was a “slightly stronger” association among women who had ever used menopausal hormone therapy (HR = 1.34; 95% CI). , 1.27–1.41) compared with those who had never used menopausal hormone therapy (HR = 1.19; 95% CI, 1.11–1.28).

“Hypertension and migraine are common disorders in women, but relatively few longitudinal cohort studies have been conducted to understand this relationship, and none in menopausal women alone,” the researchers wrote. “In this longitudinal cohort study, we confirmed previous observations that migraine is associated with an increased risk of hypertension in menopausal women.”

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