• leptin;
  • migraine;
  • obesity;
  • fat mass;
  • body mass index

Background.— Obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for transformation of episodic migraine to chronic form, and adipocytokines have been implicated to modulate some of the cytokins such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor, which also act in the neurogenic inflammation in migraine. The aim of the study was to assess leptin levels, one of the adipocytokines, in headache-free period of migraine patients and investigate its relation to vascular risk factors.

Material and Methods.— Sixty-one patients with episodic migraine headaches and 64 control subjects were enrolled in the study. Demographic data and anthropometric measurements were obtained from all participants; body mass index and fat mass values were calculated. Glucose and lipid parameters were measured by oxidase technique and cholesterol esterase enzymatic assays, and leptin levels were measured by ELISA in serum samples obtained after an overnight fasting.

Results.— Leptin levels were found significantly lower in migraineurs than controls (40.1 ± 21.2 ng/mL, 48.5 ± 24.5 ng/mL; P < .05). Although body mass index did not differ between 2 groups, fat mass, and fat percentages were significantly lower in migraine patients (19.4 ± 8.8 kg, 26.0 ± 8.7 kg; P < .001 and 28 ± 9%, 34 ± 5%; P < .001, respectively).

Conclusion.— Migraine patients have low leptin levels and fat mass which may be related to the pathogenesis of migraine. The importance and impact of our findings on the prevalence, characteristics, and treatment of migraine needs to be investigated in further detailed studies.