Individuals with psoriasis at higher risk for migraines

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Individuals in the U.S. with psoriasis are at an increased risk for developing migraines, according to a cross-sectional study.

A total of 3,131 respondents answered questions about psoriasis and migraines in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; 3.2% had psoriasis, and 29.2% had migraines, according to “yes/no” questions answered in the survey.

“The covariates in our study were age, gender, body mass index, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus and hypertension,” Alexa B. Steuer, MPH, research fellow at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote in a research letter. “Covariates were self-reported except for BMI, which was obtained from examinations that each participant underwent and maintained as a continuous variable in analyses.”

In the multivariable model, psoriasis was significantly associated with a history of migraines (OR 3.97; 95% CI, 1.76-8.95), with male gender having a protective factor and 60% lower odds of migraines compared with women (OR 0.4; 95% CI, 0.29-0.55).

Researchers found an increased risk for migraines in those with psoriasis after controlling for age, gender, BMI, hypertension, diabetes and smoking. Psoriasis was the predictor associated with the greatest magnitude of increased migraine risk, which corroborates the findings of other studies.

“This cross-sectional U.S. study demonstrates that individuals with psoriasis are at an approximately fourfold increased risk of migraines,” the researchers wrote. “While further study is needed to better understand this relationship, individuals with psoriasis should be monitored and appropriately treated for migraines.” by Erin T. Welsh


Disclosures: Steuer reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

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