Complication Patterns ID'd in Pregnant Women Who Have Severe Migraines

Women older than 35 appear most at risk, researchers find
Women older than 35 appear most at risk, researchers find

HealthDay News — Severe migraines are associated with an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, especially among older women, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 15 to 21 in Vancouver, Canada.

Matthew Robbins, MD, of the Montefiore Headache Center in New York City, and colleagues included 90 women in the study, all of whom sought emergency medical care for severe migraines while pregnant.

About 20% of the women had preeclampsia, the researchers found. Nearly 30% of the women in the study had preterm delivery, compared to about 10% of women in the general population. Nineteen percent of the women with migraines had low birth weight babies. That compares to a rate of 8% among women without migraines. Women aged 35 and older with severe migraines were 7 times more likely to have these complications than women in the general population.

Sixty-two percent of the women in the study received a combination of pills and intravenous drugs to treat their migraines. The researchers said it's not clear if these medications played a role in the pregnancy and birth complications. "These findings need to be replicated with a larger number of women, including those who have migraine that does not manifest with severe attacks during pregnancy," Robbins said in a Montefiore news release.

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