Objective

This study evaluated the association between migraine and the markers of carotid artery disease.

Background

Migraine increases the risk of cardiovascular events, but its relationship with vascular dysfunction is unclear.

Methods

In this cross‐sectional study, middle‐aged women with no known cardiovascular diseases underwent clinical, neurological, and laboratory evaluations; pulse wave velocity (PWV) assessment; and carotid artery ultrasonography. We divided the participants based on the presence of migraine and, further, based on the type of migraine. Associations between migraine and carotid thickening (intima‐media thickness >0.9 mm), carotid plaques, or arterial stiffening (PWV >10 m/s) were evaluated using a multiple regression analysis.

Results

The study comprised 112/277 (40%) women with migraine, of whom 46/277 (17%) reported having an aura. Compared to the non‐migraineurs, the migraine with aura group had an increased risk of diffuse carotid thickening (3/46 [6.8%] vs 2/165 [1.3%], adjusted OR = 7.12, 95% CI 1.05–48.49). Migraine without aura was associated with a low risk of carotid plaques (3/66 [4.7%] vs 26/165 [16.7%], adjusted OR = 0.28, 95% CI 0.08–0.99) and arterial stiffening (21/66 [34.4%] vs 82/165 [51.2%], adjusted OR = 0.39, 95% CI 0.19–0.79). There were no correlations between migraine characteristics and arterial stiffness or carotid thickness measurements.

Conclusion

Migraine with aura is associated with an increased risk of carotid thickening, and migraine without aura is associated with a low risk of carotid plaques and arterial stiffening.

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