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Keywords:

  • Migraine complications;
  • migrainous infarct;
  • chronic migraine;
  • comorbidities;
  • risk factors;
  • migraine review

Dodick DW. Review of comorbidities and risk factors for the development of migraine complications (infarct and chronic migraine). Cephalalgia 2009; 29 (Suppl. 3):7–14. London. ISSN 0333-1024

A number of comorbid disorders, behavioural traits and associated risk factors in patients with migraine are known to increase the risk of complications such as ischaemic vascular events and chronic migraine, a syndrome that is more disabling and resistant to treatment with acute and preventative medications than episodic migraine. Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors, smoking cessation and use of non-oestrogen-containing oral contraceptives in female patients are beneficial strategies to reduce the risk of ischaemic events in patients with migraine (especially those with aura). Attack frequency, acute medication overuse, obesity and coexisting depression and anxiety disorders are particularly strong but potentially modifiable independent risk factors for progression to chronic migraine. Identifying and managing comorbidities and associated risk factors for complications of migraine are likely to require an integrated disease management strategy involving several disciplines and allied health services. Such a disease-oriented model of care may potentially interrupt the cycle of progression and disability and improve quality of life for patients with migraine.