• migraine;
  • pulse wave velocity;
  • ankle–brachial index;
  • oscillometry;
  • arterial stiffness;
  • vascular reactivity

(Headache 2011;51:1239-1244)

Background.— Migraine is associated with an increased risk for ischemic stroke and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recent studies have suggested vascular dysfunction in the aorta, the brachial and femoral artery. Little is known about such arterial changes in Japanese midlife migraineurs. We aimed to evaluate arterial pulse wave velocity (PWV) and ankle–brachial index (ABI) in middle-aged migraineurs at low CVD risk.

Methods.— Brachial–ankle PWV (baPWV) and ABI, using an oscillometric technique, were measured in 111 migraineurs (81 women and 30 men) and 110 controls. All participants had no CVD risk factors. Statistical comparison of baPWV and ABI between both groups and the relationship to clinical variables of migraineurs were analyzed.

Results.— Twenty-two subjects had migraine with aura and 89 had migraine without aura. Mean age (SD) of migraineurs was 44.4 (8.4) years. Mean duration (SD) was 18.0 (10.8) years. Attack frequency was 60 subjects in ≥1 time/month and 51 subjects in <1 time/month. Mean score (SD) of Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6) was 61.4 (8.7). CVD risk profile did not differ statistically between migraineurs and controls. Mean baPWV (SD) of migraineurs was 1247 (189) cm/second in women and 1356 (126) in men. That of controls was 1138 (136) in women and 1250 (121) in men. baPWV was increased significantly in female and male migraineurs. Mean ABI (SD) was 1.05 (0.06; 1.04 [0.07] in men and 1.05 [0.06] in women) in migraineurs and 1.06 (0.07) in controls (1.05 [0.08] in men and 1.06 [0.08] in women). ABI did not differ statistically between migraineurs and controls. Migraine subtypes, duration, attack frequency, and HIT-6 score were not associated with baPWV and ABI.

Conclusion.— The present study indicated higher baPWV in midlife migraineurs without CVD risk factors. This pathogenesis could reflect distinct vascular reactivity rather than arterial stiffness due to atherosclerosis.