AHS: Menopausal Transition Aggravates Migraine Headaches

Risk of high-frequency headaches is 50 to 60 percent higher during menopause

THURSDAY, June 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among women with migraines, the frequency of headaches increases during the menopausal transition, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society, held from June 26 to 29 in Los Angeles.

Vincent T. Martin, M.D., of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and colleagues analyzed data for 3,603 women, mean age of 45 years, from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study. The authors sought to assess the effect of menopause on the frequency of headache attacks in women with migraine.

The researchers found that eight percent of premenopausal women were in the high-frequency headache group compared with 12.2 percent of perimenopausal women and 12 percent of postmenopausal women. Compared with premenopausal women, the adjusted odds of being in the high-frequency headache group were 1.5 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 2.0) for perimenopausal women and 1.6 (95 percent CI, 1.1 to 2.3) for postmenopausal women.

"We believe that both declining estrogen levels that occur at the time of menstruation as well as low estrogen levels that are encountered during the menopause are triggers of migraine in some women," a coauthor said in a statement.

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