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08-12-2009 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Migraines have adverse effect on lipid profile


Free abstract

MedWire News: Patients of normal weight who suffer from migraines are more likely to have an adverse lipid profile than those of normal weight who do not, report researchers.

Migraines have been associated with an increased risk for stroke and myocardial infarction, as previously reported by MedWire News. However, links with dyslipidemia are less certain.

Hans–Jürgen Gruber (Medical University Graz, Austria) and colleagues recruited 43 normal weight (body mass index [BMI] 19–25 kg/m2) migraineurs and 61 normal weight controls. As obesity is known to influence cardiovascular disease risk and lipid levels, they also recruited 17 obese (BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more) migraineurs and 15 obese controls for comparison purposes.

Writing in the European Journal of Neurology, the team found that normal weight migraineurs had significantly higher levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and oxidized LDL cholesterol compared with normal weight controls.

Overall, the team found that participants in the highest oxidized LDL cholesterol quartile (mean level 78.26 mg/dl) had a 7.93-fold increased risk for migraine compared with those in the lowest quartile (mean level 48.42 mg/dl).

Of note, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels were not significantly associated with migraine in normal weight migraineurs, whereas both obese groups had low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels.

These results suggest that “obesity-related alterations in the lipid profile overlay migraine-associated effects,” say the authors.

“Our data suggest that migraine is associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and its clinical consequences,” conclude Gruber et al.

“A population-based study regarding the lipid profile in normal weight migraineurs is necessary to further investigate the cardiovascular risk of migraine patients.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2009

By Helen Albert