The presence of migraine and increasing headache pain intensity are associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression, inflammation, and sleep conditions, among other disorders. This is according to a study in the Journal of Headache Pain.

Responses from the prospective, web-based Migraine in America Symptoms and Treatment (MAST) survey study were used for this analysis. The MAST Study identified people with migraine (n=15,133) and those without migraine (n=77,453) in the United States. Participants with migraine included in this study had reported an average of ≥1 monthly headache days (MHDs) over the past 3 months prior to inclusion.

Researchers assessed participants’ reported physician-diagnosed comorbidities from a list of 21 common cardiovascular, dermatologic, neurologic, psychiatric, respiratory, sleep, pain, and medical comorbidities. In the migraine cohort, researchers also assessed rates of conditions in relation to headache pain intensity, MHD frequency, and their combination.

In an analysis adjusted for sociodemographic variables, people with migraine were more likely to report insomnia (odds ratio [OR], 3.79; 95% CI, 3.6-4.0), depression (OR, 3.18; 95% CI, 3.0-3.3), anxiety (OR, 3.18; 95% CI, 3.0-3.3), and gastric ulcer/gastrointestinal bleeding (OR, 3.11; 95% CI, 2.8-3.5) compared to people without migraine.


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People in the migraine cohort were also significantly more likely to report peripheral artery disease (OR, 2.69; 95% CI, 2.3-3.1), angina (OR, 2.64; 95% CI, 2.4-3.0), allergies/hay fever (OR, 2.49; 95% CI, 2.4-2.6), epilepsy (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 2.0-2.8), arthritis (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 2.1-2.4), stroke or transient ischemic attack (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.9-2.5), rheumatoid arthritis (OR, 2.11; 95% CI, 1.9-2.4), asthma (OR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.9-2.1), and vitamin D deficiency (OR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.9-2.1).

Additionally, white race, increasing MHD frequency, and moderate and severe pain correlated with increased risk of anxiety in this study. Being male was associated with an increased risk of psoriasis, whereas being employed was associated with a reduced risk of psoriasis. The 10 to 14 MHD group and severe migraine headache pain intensity were both associated with an increased risk of psoriasis.

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Limitations of the study were the inclusion of only participants with active headache as well as the possibility of some comorbidities that were missed in the data collection/survey process.

The researchers of the MAST study suggest that further “exploration of the pathways that drive these comorbidities in migraine patients may lead to insights that clarify pathophysiology and improve treatment.”

Disclosure: This clinical trial was supported by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.

Reference

Buse DC, Reed ML, Fanning KM, et al. Comorbid and co-occurring conditions in migraine and associated risk of increasing headache pain intensity and headache frequency: results of the Migraine in America Symptoms and Treatment (MAST) study. J Headache Pain. 2020;21(1):23