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Asthma Tied to Increased Risk of Chronic Migraines

Researchers suggest asthma is stronger predictor of chronic migraines than depression

woman in pain

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- People with asthma may be more than twice as likely to develop chronic migraines as those without asthma, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in Headache.

The research included 4,446 Americans. At the start of the study in 2008, the study volunteers had fewer than 15 migraines a month. One year later, the researchers looked to see how many had chronic migraine, defined as 15 or more migraines a month.

More than 5 percent of people with asthma developed chronic migraine, compared to 2.5 percent of those without. The lead author Vincent Martin, M.D., a professor of medicine and co-director of the Headache and Facial Pain Program at the University of Cincinnati, said in a university news release that having asthma was an even stronger predictor of chronic migraines than depression.

"Migraine and asthma are disorders that involve inflammation and activation of smooth muscle either in blood vessels or in the airways," study coauthor Richard Lipton, M.D., director of Montefiore Headache Center in New York City, said in the news release. "Therefore, asthma-related inflammation may lead to migraine progression."

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