Women who suffer from migraines may be at higher risk of pregnancy complications, according to a new study by Boston researchers.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have found that women with pre-pregnancy migraines are at increased risk of premature birth, gestational hypertension, and pre-eclampsia.
Brigham scientists participating in the study analyzed data from thousands of women from the Nurses’ Health Study II to assess the relationship between migraines and pregnancy complications. Their findings indicate that a history of migraine may be a sign of high obstetric risk.
“Premature birth and hypertensive disease are some of the leading contributors to maternal and infant morbidity and mortality,” says Alexandra Perdue Smith, associate epidemiologist at Brigham University and medical instructor at Harvard Medical School. said.
“Our findings suggest that a history of migraine headaches deserves consideration as an important risk factor for these complications, flagging women who may benefit from increased monitoring during pregnancy.” It may help to stand up
Women are two to three times more likely than men to experience migraines in their lifetime, and migraine headaches are most common among women between the reproductive ages of 18 and 44.
For some people, migraines may be accompanied by aura (5.5% of the population). This is a visual disturbance that usually appears before the onset of headache.
In this study, researchers analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, which included 30,555 pregnancies from 19,694 US nurses. Scientists investigated the incidence of pre-pregnancy self-reported physician-diagnosed migraine and migraine phenotypes (migraine with aura versus migraine without aura) and self-reported pregnancy outcomes.
Brigham researchers found that pre-pregnancy migraines were associated with a 17% higher risk of preterm birth, a 28% higher rate of gestational hypertension, and a 40% higher rate of pre-eclampsia than those without migraines. I found that it is related to
Migraine with aura had a somewhat higher risk of pre-eclampsia than migraine without aura.
Participants with migraines who reported using aspirin regularly before pregnancy (at least twice a week) had a 45% lower risk of premature birth. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends low-dose aspirin during pregnancy for those at high risk for pre-eclampsia and for those who have one or more of her moderate risk factors for pre-eclampsia.
Clinical trials have shown that low-dose aspirin during pregnancy is also effective in reducing preterm birth rates. However, Purdue-Smithe says migraines are not among the indications for aspirin use during pregnancy.
“Our finding that migraine women who reported regular aspirin use before pregnancy had a reduced risk of preterm birth suggests that aspirin may also benefit women with migraine. We do,” Purdue-Smithe said. “Given the observational nature of our study and the lack of detailed information on aspirin dosages available in our cohort, clinical trials will be needed to answer this question definitively. ”