Migraine and Inflammation Linked in Young Adults


New study shows positive association between migraine diagnosis and inflammation

SAN DIEGO, CA (June 9, 2016) – A common marker of inflammation and cardiovascular and stroke risk is elevated in the blood of young adults with migraine, according to a new study presented this week at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society.

The CRP and Migraine in Young Adults study analyzed adults aged 24-32 in Wave 4 of the Add Health Study. The participants were questioned by a healthcare provider on their diagnosis of migraine, depression and anxiety. High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), a biomarker of inflammation, was then examined during in-home visits. Using linear regressions, the research team then modeled the effect of migraine on hsCRP.

The study found that participants with migraine had significantly higher average hsCRP levels than those without migraine, showing a positive association between migraine diagnosis and elevated hsCRP.

“Evidence linking higher CRP levels with migraine has been limited in large population-based studies,” said study lead author Gretchen Tietjen, director of UTMC Headache Research and Treatment Center and professor of neurology at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “This study shows a positive correlation between migraine diagnosis and elevated hsCRP, especially among young women, the segment of the population with the highest migraine-stroke connection. These findings may help inform potential treatment options for those suffering from migraine, both to prevent migraine and also future stroke and heart disease. There is limited evidence that anti-inflammatories prevent migraine with aura, but there is still more research to be done on migraines with aura vs. migraines without aura.”

The study, titled “CRP and Migraine in Young Adults – Results from the Add Health Study”, was presented at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego. The meeting draws about 1,000 headache and migraine researchers and treatment specialists from around the world to hear the latest scientific and clinical information on headache and migraine. This year’s program, “Take a Closer Look…At Migraine,” is four days of scientific presentations on the latest and most up-to date research in all aspects of migraine and related disorders.

The American Headache Society (AHS) is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain. The Society’s objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting, a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, and publication of the journal Headache. (www.americanheadachesociety.org)


The American Migraine Foundation is a non-profit foundation supported by the American Headache Society and generous donors dedicated to the advancement of migraine research. Its mission is to support innovative research and education that will lead to improvement in the lives of those who suffer from migraine and other disabling headaches. Information about migraine and related disorders can be found at www.americanmigrainefoundation.org


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