“Mast cell degranulation or parasympathetic hyperactivity, as encountered with asthma, might predispose an individual to the future onset of chronic migraine,” said Vincent Martin, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati.

The findings are from an analysis of data from the American Migraine and Prevention (AMPP)) study, which was presented at the 56th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society. In the study, Dr. Martin and colleagues included participants who completed the 2008 AMPP survey and met the International Classification of Headache Disorder-3 beta criteria for episodic migraine in that year.

The odds ratio for chronic migraine onset, adjusted for sociodemographic factors and clinical characteristics, was 1.9 among people with asthma, compared with patients without asthma. People with a severe RSS grade had a statistically significant increase in the risk of chronic migraine onset with an odds ratio of 2.8, compared with subjects without respiratory symptoms. Individuals with mild and moderate respiratory respiratory symptoms also had an increased risk of chronic migraine onset, but the increase was not statistically significant.

“Our results indicate that asthma may be one of the most potent risk factors for the transformation of episodic to chronic migraine. Clearly, more research needs to be done to further define the mechanisms through which asthma increases the frequency of migraine,” said Dr. Martin.    Neurology Reviews    September 2014

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