Maternal severe migraine and risk of congenital limb deficiencies

Authors


Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Migraines occurs frequently during pregnancy; however, there are no published data on their possible teratogenic potential in a controlled epidemiological study. Therefore, we examined the risk of congenital abnormalities in infants born to women who had migraines and other headaches during pregnancy.

METHODS:

Between 1980 and 1996, the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities evaluated 22,843 cases (newborns or fetuses) with congenital abnormalities, 38,151 control newborn infants without any abnormalities, and 834 malformed controls with Down syndrome.

RESULTS:

Migraines anytime during pregnancy occurred in 565 (2.5%) mothers of the case group compared with 713 (1.9%) mothers in the control group (crude prevalence odds ratio [POR], 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–1.5) and 24 (2.9%) pregnant women in the malformed control group (crude POR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.6–1.3) The mothers of 247 cases, 533 controls, and 21 malformed controls had severe migraines during the second and/or third months of pregnancy. There was only 1 congenital abnormality group: limb deficiencies, which had a higher rate of maternal migraines during the second and third months of pregnancy both at the comparison of cases and matched controls (adjusted POR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1–5.8) and of cases and malformed controls (adjusted POR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3–3.0). There was no association between other headaches and different congenital abnormalities at the comparison of cases and controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data showed that maternal severe migraines during the second and/or third months of pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of congenital limb deficiencies. A similar association was not detected between congenital anomalies and other headaches during pregnancy. Our study was not based on a prior hypothesis; therefore, these data can be considered only as a signal that needs confirmation by independent data sets. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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