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Association between migraine and the risk of vascular dementia: A nationwide longitudinal study in South Korea.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the potential association between migraine and vascular dementia (VaD) using a nationwide population database.

BACKGROUND: Migraine and VaD showed similar structural and functional changes in pathophysiology process and shared common risk factors, However, whether migraine prevalence increases VaD incidence remains controversial.

METHODS: This retrospective population-based cohort study used the medical records from the Korean National Health Insurance System database. Migraine (G43) was defined by using the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases code. More than two migraine diagnoses at least 3 months apart were defined as "chronic migraine". Cox proportional hazards model estimated hazard ratios (HRs) of VaD for group comparisons.

RESULTS: We included 212,836 patients with migraine and 5,863,348 individuals without migraine. During 10 years of follow-up, 3,914 (1.8%) and 60,258 (1.0%) patients with and without migraine, respectively, were newly diagnosed with VaD. After adjustment, patients with migraine showed a 1.21-fold higher risk of VaD than those without migraine (HR = 1.21; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17-1.25). Patients with chronic migraine showed a higher cumulative incidence of VaD than those with episodic migraine. The adjusted HR for the VaD incidence with migraine was higher in: (1) patients aged <65 years; (2) women; (3) patients without hypertension, diabetes, or atrial fibrillation; and (4) non-smokers.

CONCLUSION: Migraine is associated with an increased risk of VaD, particularly in chronic migraine patients. Incidence of VaD in the setting of migraine may have distinct pathophysiology from that of VaD with traditional cardiovascular risks.

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