Patients With Migraine at Greater Risk for Dry Eye Disease

Sjögren's Syndrome
Sjögren’s Syndrome
Individuals with vs without migraine may be more likely to have comorbid dry eye disease.

Individuals with vs without migraine may be more likely to have comorbid dry eye disease, according to a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Researchers retrospectively followed 72,969 patients from healthcare facilities affiliated with the University of North Carolina. A total of 5352 patients (7.3%) in this cohort had a diagnosis of migraine and 9638 (13.2%) had a diagnosis of dry eye disease. Patients with vs without a migraine diagnosis were 1.72 times more likely to have dry eye disease. After adjusting for sex and age group and excluding patients with confounding factors (use of certain medications; history of rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren disease, or lupus; history of cataract or refractive surgery), patients diagnosed with migraine were 1.42 times more likely to have dry eye disease compared with patients who did not have a migraine diagnosis. This association was most evident in women of all ages and in men age 55 to 64.

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Study limitations include the inability to establish temporal associations between migraine and dry eye disease.

“Despite these limitations, the results of this study suggest a link between migraine headaches and dry eye disease. Our results suggest that female sex and advanced age play an important role in determining the strength of this association. Physicians caring for patients with a history of migraine headaches should be aware that these patients may be at risk at risk for comorbid dry eye disease,” noted the study authors.

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Ismail OM, Poole ZB, et al. Association between dry eye disease and migraine headaches in a large population-based study [published online March 7, 2019]. JAMA Ophthalmol. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.0170