Migraine has been associated with many comorbidities. However, lifestyle factors and the presence of comorbid diseases have not previously been extensively studied in the same sample. This study aimed to compare the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle factors and comorbid diseases between patients with migraine and migraine-free controls with subgroup analyses to determine the pathophysiology and possible consequences.
This cross-sectional study recruited 1257 patients with migraine between the ages of 20 and 65 years from a headache outpatient clinic in Taiwan and 496 non-migraine controls. All participants completed questionnaires regarding demographics, migraine diagnosis, sleep, headache burden, and medical, pain, and psychiatric conditions. Participants also underwent a structured interview. The associations between comorbidities and migraine were investigated and further stratified by sex and aura.
Patients with migraine with aura had an unhealthier lifestyle compared with controls in the form of current smoking status (15.5% [67/431] vs. 11.5% [57/496], p = 0.013). Furthermore, medical- (e.g., thyroid disease; 7.2% [91/1257 vs. 2.8% [14/496]; p = 0.006), psychiatric- (e.g., depression; 6% [76/1257 vs. 2.6% [13/496]; p = 0.031), and pain-related (e.g., fibromyalgia; 8% [101/1257 vs. 3.2% [16/496]; p = 0.006) comorbidities were more prevalent in patients compared with controls. Subgroup analyses revealed that chronic migraine, migraine with aura, and female sex were associated with a greater number of significant comorbidities than episodic migraine, migraine without aura, and male patients with migraine, respectively.
Individuals seeking treatment for migraine reported greater levels of smoking and medical, psychiatric, and pain conditions than non-treatment-seeking healthy controls who were recruited from the community. Understanding the relationship between migraine and comorbid diseases may improve medical care as well as the quality of life.

© 2021 American Headache Society.