Research reveals history of migraine associated with more severe hot flashes
The results of a cross-sectional study showed that a history of migraine is associated with more severe hot flashes in middle-aged women.
New research presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) confirms an association between the presence and severity of a history of migraine and vasomotor symptoms of menopause (VMS; hot flashes) in middle-aged women . The meeting takes place in Washington, DC, September 22-25, 2021.
In addition, the results of the questionnaire-based cross-sectional study suggest that neovascular deregulation may explain the link between the 2 conditions and between VMS and migraine with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), respectively.
Since about 20% of women are affected by migraine and women tend to have more migraine-related symptoms and disabilities than men, hormones play an important role in triggering attacks.
“Migraine is also associated with cardiovascular events and mortality in women. Likewise, VMS appears to be a biomarker of CVD risk, ”the authors wrote. Previous research has found that a history of migraine predicted an increased frequency of VMS in women during the menopause transition, they added.
To better understand the potential link between a history of migraine and VMS, researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis using data from the Data Registry on the Experiences of Aging, Menopause and Sexuality (DREAMS). All participants who presented to women’s clinics at 3 Mayo Clinic sites in the United States between May 2015 and December 2019 completed questionnaires at the time of the visit.
A total of 3,308 women aged 45 to 60 were included in the analyzes, of which 895 (27%) reported a history of migraine. The average age of the participants was 52.8 years, and the majority were white, had at least some college education, had a job, were in a relationship, and were in menopause.
Adjusted analyzes revealed:
- Women with a history of migraine had significantly higher total scores on the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) (estimated difference, 1.36; 95% CI: 0.88-1.85; P
- The chances of reporting more severe hot flashes increased monotonically in women with a history of migraine.
- Women with low back pain had higher MRS scores, but were not more likely to have severe / very severe hot flashes than those without back pain, confirming the specificity of the link between VMS and migraine.
“We believe that neurovascular deregulation may explain the link between migraines and hot flashes, as well as the association of each with cardiovascular disease in women,” said Stéphanie Faubion, MD, MBA, medical director of NAMS and lead author of the study.
“Given the high prevalence of migraine in women, this combination may help identify women who are at risk for more severe hot flashes in their 40s. Further study is needed to determine whether the combination of migraine history and midlife hot flashes predict a higher risk of heart disease than either alone and whether these female-specific factors could be used. to improve the accuracy of CVD risk calculations for women, ”she concluded.
Faubion S, Smith T, Thielen J, et al. Is migraine associated with vasomotor symptoms? Presented at: The North American Menopause Society Annual Meeting; September 22-25, 2021; Washington DC.