Open Access

Clinic–based study of family history of vascular risk factors and migraine

  • G. Yoon1, 2,
  • S. Baggaley3,
  • P. Bacchetti4,
  • Y.–H. Fu2,
  • K. B. Digre3 and
  • L. J. Ptácek2, 5Email author
The Journal of Headache and Pain20056:239

Received: 24 May 2005

Accepted: 5 August 2005

Published: 21 September 2005


The objective was to evaluate the presence of a positive family history (FH) of vascular risk factors between patients with migraine with aura (MA) and migraine without aura (MO), and in chronic migraine (CM) compared to other headache types. As migraine patients are typically too young to have developed vascular events, studying older relatives of migraine patients may be a practical means of evaluating associations between vascular risk factors and migraine. A cross–sectional study of a clinicbased sample of adults with migraine headache was carried out at the University of Utah. Predictor variables comprised first or second degree relatives with stroke, hypertension, diabetes or hypercholesterolaemia. Outcome measures comprised diagnosis of MA, MO or CM according to the revised International Headache Society criteria. There was no significant difference in FH of vascular risk factors in MA compared to MO (adjusted OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.61–1.78). CM was associated with a decreased risk of FH of stroke (OR=0.11, 95% CI 0.02–0.87, p=0.036). There was no significant difference in FH of vascular risk factors in MA patients compared to MO. CM patients were more likely to have a negative FH of stroke compared to other headache types, suggesting that CM is likely a neuronal disease rather than a vascular one.

Key words

Vascular risk factorsStrokeMigraine