Mechanisms Common to Migraine, Venous Thromboembolism
Patients experiencing migraine with aura have an elevated risk of venous thromboembolism.
Patients experiencing migraine with aura may be at an increased risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE), as indicated by a large cohort study recently published in Headache.1
While arterial thromboembolism has previously been linked to migraine, its association with VTE is not well understood.
In order to examine this association, and the risk contribution of demographics or comorbidities, 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. Participants 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 (aHR 1.12; 95% CI, 0.92–1.35; P =.251); however when the researchers analyzed risk based on migraine subtype, they found that patients suffering from 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.
- 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.