Migraines in Menopause: Is Estrogen to Blame?

Migraines in Menopause: Is Estrogen to Blame?
Migraines in Menopause: Is Estrogen to Blame?

(HealthDay News) — Among women with migraines, the frequency of headaches increases during the menopausal transition, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society, held from June 26–29 in Los Angeles.

Vincent T. Martin, MD, of the University of Cincinnati in OH, and colleagues analyzed data for 3,603 women, mean age of 45 years, from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study. The authors sought to assess the effect of menopause on the frequency of headache attacks in women with migraine.

The researchers found that 8% of premenopausal women were in the high-frequency headache group compared with 12.2% of perimenopausal women and 12% of postmenopausal women. Compared with premenopausal women, the adjusted odds of being in the high-frequency headache group were 1.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1–2.0) for perimenopausal women and 1.6 (95% CI, 1.1–2.3) for postmenopausal women.

"We believe that both declining estrogen levels that occur at the time of menstruation as well as low estrogen levels that are encountered during the menopause are triggers of migraine in some women," a coauthor said in a statement.

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