TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients with migraine headache may have increased odds of dry eye disease (DED), according to a study published online March 7 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Omar M. Ismail, from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a retrospective case-control study involving 72,969 patients older than 18 years to determine the strength of the association between DED and migraine headaches.

Of the patients, 7.3 percent had a diagnosis of migraine headache and 13.2 percent had a diagnosis of DED. The researchers found that the odds of having DED were 1.72 times higher for those with a diagnosis of migraine headaches versus those without migraine headaches. The odds of having DED was 1.42 times higher given a diagnosis of migraine headaches than that of patients without migraine headaches after accounting for multiple confounding factors.

“The exact mechanism underlying the relationship between migraine headaches and DED is unclear. However, it is well established that underlying inflammatory processes play a significant role in the pathogenesis of both disorders,” the authors write. “Physicians caring for patients with a history of migraine headaches should be aware that these patients may be at risk for comorbid DED.”

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