Less Money, More Migraines?

Structural Brain Changes More Common in Migraineurs
Structural Brain Changes More Common in Migraineurs

(HealthDay News) – Structural brain changes seem to be more common for migraineurs, and the incidence rate of migraine is inversely related to household income, according to research published online Aug. 28 and 29 in Neurology.

Asma Bashir, MD, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a literature review, including six population-based studies and 13 clinic-based studies, to examine the correlation between migraine without aura (MO) and migraine with aura (MA) and three types of magnetic resonance imaging-detected structural abnormalities. The researchers found that the structural changes were suggested to be more common in migraineurs than controls, with the strongest results seen for MA. White matter abnormalities correlated with MA (odds ratio, 1.68; P=0.03), but not MO (odds ratio, 1.34; P=0.08).

Walter F. Stewart, PhD, from Sutter Health in Concord, CA, and colleagues used data from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study involving 132,674 females and 124,665 males aged ≥12 years to examine whether the higher prevalence of migraine in lower household income groups is explained by a higher incidence rate or lower remission rate. The researchers found that as household income decreased the prevalence of migraine increased for females and males. The differences were not explained by race or confounding variables. For both females and males, the incidence rate was higher in the lower household income groups. Household income had no impact on migraine remission rates.

"The higher incidence of migraine in lower household income groups is compatible with the social causation hypothesis," Stewart and colleagues write. "Once initiated, migraine remission is independent of household income."

Several authors from the Bashir study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Abstract - Bashir
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Abstract - Stewart
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