New research suggests that clinicians should strongly suspect migraine in adolescents with concomitant asthma and allergic rhinitis who develop recurrent headaches.
Previous epidemiological studies in adults have demonstrated an association between asthma and migraine, but less is known about the potential connection in adolescents. To shed light on the potential link, a team of researchers in Israel designed a cross-sectional study comprising more than 110,000 adolescent participants over more than 20 years.
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The authors retrospectively searched the electronic database of a military recruitment center for all 17‐year‐old draftees during the years 1987 through 2010. They then compared the prevalence of specialist‐diagnosed migraine in the adolescents with and without specialist‐diagnosed asthma. All told, 4.0% of the 113,671 adolescent participants had an asthma diagnosis, and 1.9% had a migraine diagnosis.
Analysis of the adolescents’ data revealed that migraine was significantly more prevalent in those with asthma compared with those without asthma, and that migraine was significantly more prevalent in those with allergic rhinitis than in those without allergic rhinitis.
“Clinicians should be aware that asthma and allergic rhinitis are potential risk factors for migraine in adolescents,” the authors concluded. “A combined finding of these conditions and recurrent headache is highly suggestive of migraine and warrants a different diagnosis and treatment approach from sinusitis.”
The results were published online in the Clinical Respiratory Journal.
Graif Y, Shohat T, Machluf Y, Farkash R, Chaiter Y. Association between asthma and migraine—a cross‐sectional study of over 110,000 adolescents [published online July 13, 2018]. Clin Respir J. https://doi.org/10.1111/crj.12939