Migraine and retinal microvascular abnormalities: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

K. M. Rose, T. Y. Wong, A. P. Carson, D. J. Couper, R. Klein, A. R. Sharrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the association between vascular headaches and retinal microvascular disease. METHODS: We investigated the cross-sectional association between headaches (migraine/other headaches with aura, migraine without aura, other headaches without aura, no headaches) and retinal microvascular signs (retinopathy, focal arteriolar narrowing, arteriovenous nicking; arteriolar and venular calibers) among middle-aged African American and white men and women from the third examination of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (1993 through 1995). RESULTS: After controlling for age, gender, race, study center, and cardiovascular risk factors, we determined that persons with headaches were more likely to have retinopathy than those without a history of headaches (odds ratio [OR] = 1.38, 95% CI = 0.96 to 1.99 for migraine/other headaches with aura; OR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.05 to 2.12 for migraine without aura; and OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.65 for other headaches). Associations with migraine were stronger among the subset of participants without a history of diabetes or hypertension (OR = 1.79, 95% CI = 1.09 to 2.95 for migraine/other headaches with aura; and OR = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.11 to 2.71 for migraine without aura). Headaches were not associated with focal arteriolar narrowing or arteriovenous nicking. Persons with headaches tended to have smaller mean arteriolar and venular calibers; however, these associations did not tend to persist among those without hypertension or diabetes. CONCLUSION: Middle-aged persons with migraine and other headaches were more likely to have retinopathy signs, supporting the hypothesis that neurovascular dysfunction may underlie vascular headaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1694-1700
Number of pages7
JournalNeurology
Volume68
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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    Rose, K. M., Wong, T. Y., Carson, A. P., Couper, D. J., Klein, R., & Sharrett, A. R. (2007). Migraine and retinal microvascular abnormalities: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Neurology, 68(20), 1694-1700. https://doi.org/10.1212/01.wnl.0000261916.42871.05