A study sought to discern sex-dependent mechanisms underlying the migraine-stroke association. The results were published in Frontiers in Neuroscience.
The study included 2,492 patients with ischemic stroke from the prospective multicenter Dutch Parelsnoer Institute Initiative study, 17% of whom had a history of migraine. Researchers compared cardiovascular risk profiles, stroke causes, and outcomes among both sexes between patients with and without migraine.
Following analysis, the results showed that a history of migraine was not associated with sex differences in the prevalence of conventional cardiovascular risk factors. Women with migraine had an increased risk of stroke at young age (onset at <50 years) compared with women without migraine (risk ratio = 1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.3-2.3). The researchers noted that men with migraine tended to have stroke more often in comparison with men without migraine, whereas this increase was not found in women with migraine. The results also showed that stroke outcome was similar for women with or without migraine, whereas men seemed to have a higher risk of poor outcome compared with their counterparts without migraine.
“Our results indicate possible sex differences in the pathophysiology underlying the migraine-stroke association, which are unrelated to conventional cardiovascular risk factors,” the researchers concluded. They added that “further research in larger cohorts is needed to validate these findings.”
Keywords: cardiovascular risk factors, migraine; sex differences, stroke outcome, stroke subtype