Venous Thromboembolism and Migraine May Share Mechanistic Link

Venous thromboembolism was only observed in patients with migraine with aura, suggesting a mechanistic link between the 2 conditions.

Patients with migraine with aura may be at an increased risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE), data from a large nationwide cohort indicate.

While arterial thromboembolism has previously been linked to migraine, its association with VTE is not well understood. In order to examine this association, and how demographics or comorbidities may contribute to risk, Kuan-Po Peng, MD, of Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues conducted an analysis of 102 159 migraine patients and 102 159 matched controls from a nationwide insurance claims database. Individuals were followed until the end of the study (2010), death, or VTE occurrence.

VTE occurred in 226 patients with migraine and 203 controls over a mean follow-up of 4.2 years. Notably, there was no difference in risk of VTE between the 2 groups (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.92–1.35; P=.251); however when the researchers analyzed risk based on migraine subtype they found that patients with migraine with aura had an elevated risk of VTE (aHR 2.42; 95% CI: 1.40–4.19; P=.002). This remained significant after further subgroup and sensitivity analyses.

The authors concluded that the results suggest a mechanistic link between migraine with aura and VTE, and encouraged further analysis.

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Peng KP, Chen YT, Fuh JL, Tang CH, Wang SJ. Association between migraine and risk of venous thromboembolism: A nationwide cohort study. Headache. 2016. doi:10.1111/head.12885.

This article originally appeared on Neurology Advisor