• migraine;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • serotonin;
  • sister pair

(Headache 2011;51:220-225)

Objective.— To evaluate the relationship between migraine and eating disorders by applying a special study design.

Background.— To date, only a few studies have assessed eating disorders and eating behavior in patients with migraine.

Methods.— The distinctive feature of this design is the comparison of sister pairs with one sister suffering from an eating disorder according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition and the other being free of such disease.

Results.— We investigated 120 female patients with a median age of 24 years (interquartile range 20-31) as well as their non-eating-disordered sisters with a median age of 24 (20-31) years. Headache was diagnosed according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, Second Edition. Thirteen sister pairs were concordant for the presence of migraine, 67 were concordant for the absence of migraine and 40 were discordant. Among the latter, 21 patients and 19 controls had migraine. The prevalence of migraine was virtually identical in patients (28%) and controls (27%).

Conclusion.— This clinic-based controlled study using a sister-pair comparison design showed no evidence of an increased prevalence of migraine among patients with eating disorder.