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Comorbidity of gastrointestinal disorders, migraine, and tension-type headache: a cross-sectional study in Iran

Fahimeh Martami, Zeinab Ghorbani, Maryam Abolhasani, Mansoureh Togha, Alipasha Meysamie, Alireza Sharifi, Soodeh Razeghi Jahromi
Neurological Sciences 2018, 39 (1): 63-70
Migraine can be accompanied by some gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) and different lower and upper GI disorders as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) and cholelithiasis. This cross-sectional study included 1574 overweight and obese participants who were referred to the Obesity Research Center of Sina Hospital, Tehran, Iran. The diagnosis of migraine and TTH was made by an expert neurologist based on the international classification of headache disorders-III β (ICHD III β). GI disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, heartburn, dyspepsia, non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD), and cholelithiasis, were diagnosed by a gastroenterology specialist. The overall mean age of participants was 37.44 ± 12.62. A total of 181 (11.5%) migraine sufferers (with and without aura) and 78 (5%) TTH subjects were diagnosed. After adjusting for potential confounders by multivariable regression models, migraine had significant association with IBS (OR = 5.16, 95% CI = 2.07-12.85, P = 0.000), constipation (OR = 3.96, 95% CI = 2.25-6.99, P = 0.000), dyspepsia (OR = 4.12, 95% CI = 2.63-6.45, P = 0.000), and heartburn (OR = 5.03, 95% CI 2.45-10.33, P = 0.000), while the association between migraine and NAFLD was marginally significant (OR = 2.03, 95% CI = 0.98-4.21, P = 0.055). Furthermore, the prevalence of NAFLD (OR = 2.93, 95% CI 1.29-6.65, P = 0.010) and dyspepsia (OR = 4.06, 95% CI = 2.24-7.34, P = 0.000) was significantly higher in TTH patients than the headache-free group. These findings show an association between GI disorders and primary headaches especially migraine and are, therefore, of value to the management of migraine and TTH. Further studies should investigate the etiology of the relationship between all subtypes of primary headaches and GI disorders.


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