Electrocardiographic findings in migraineurs: results of the Finnish Health 2000 survey

Abstract

Background

The precise relation between migraine and cardiovascular diseases remains unknown, but cardiac autonomic regulation as reflected by electrocardiography is poorly studied in migraineurs.

Aims of the Study

To search whether electrocardiographic findings may elucidate the mechanisms linking migraine with cardiovascular diseases.

Methods

We compared electrocardiographic findings in headache-free subjects (n=5,317) and people with migraine (n=490) in a Finnish population cohort.

Results

The frequency of cardiac rhythm and conduction disorders did not differ between the groups but left ventricular hypertrophy was more often seen in migraineurs than in non-migraineurs (odds ratio (OR)=1.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0; 1.74, p<0.05). In migraineurs reporting frequent attacks, cardiovascular diseases were associated with longer QTc intervals (p<0.05). After excluding confounders, migraineurs had longer PR intervals (160.3 vs 159.8 ms, mean difference (MD)=3.14, 95% CI 0.65; 5.62, p<0.05) than non-migraineurs. PR intervals (MD=6.6, CI 1.51; 11.68, p<0.05) and the probability of left ventricular hypertrophy (OR=1.98, CI 1.2; 3.26, p<0.05) were different in males with and without migraine, especially in patients with frequent attacks, but not in females.

Conclusions

Our findings support the notion that there are interactions between migraine and cardiovascular disorders and suggest that electrocardiographic screening in migraineurs should be considered during clinical work-up.

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