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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 48-55

Do comorbidities and triggers expedite chronicity in migraine?

1 Department of Neurology, University of Health Sciences, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye
2 Koç University, School of Medicine, Medical Student, Istanbul, Türkiye
3 Department of Neurology, University of Health Sciences, Erenkoy Mental Health and Neurological Disorders Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye
4 Private Clinic, Neurology, Kocaeli, Türkiye
5 Department of Neurology and Algology, Mersin University, Mersin, Türkiye
6 Department of Neurology, Istanbul University, Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty, Istanbul, Türkiye

Correspondence Address:
Emel Ur Ozcelik
Department of Neurology, University of Health Sciences, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital, Atakent Mahallesi Turgut Özal Bulvari No: 46/1 34303, Küçükçekmece, Istanbul
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nsn.nsn_229_22

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Background and Aim: Several factors are suggested to be associated with an increased risk of transforming from episodic migraine (EM) to chronic migraine (CM). We aimed to examine whether some specific attack triggers and comorbidities were associated with CM. Methods: Patients followed up with a diagnosis of definite migraine for at least 1 year were divided into two groups, EM (<15 attacks per month) and CM (>15 attacks per month). The demographic and clinical data, attack-triggering factors, and comorbid diseases were compared between the groups. Results: A total of 403 (286 females) patients were analyzed; 227 (56.3%) of the migraineurs had EM and 176 (43.7%) had CM. The mean age was 40.9 ± 11.3 years in EM, and 42.2 ± 11.7 years in CM. Disease duration was longer in CM compared with EM (P = 0.007). Missing meals (P = 0.044), exposure to heavy scents/perfumes (P = 0.012), intense physical activity (P = 0.037), and withdrawal of caffeine (P = 0.012) were reported significantly higher in CM than in EM. Comorbid history of medication overuse (P < 0.001), hypertension (P = 0.048), hyperlipidemia (P = 0.025), depression (P = 0.021), chronic painful health problems (P = 0.003), iron deficiency anemia (P = 0.006), and history of surgery (P = 0.006) were found significantly high in CM. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that attack-triggering factors, vascular comorbidities, depression, medication overuse, and chronic painful health problems pose significant risks for CM. Vascular comorbidities are independent risk factors for chronification in migraine and might increase the patient's lifetime morbidity and mortality. Therefore, prompt diagnosis of migraine before the transformation to chronicity and effective early management have the utmost importance.

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