The risk of newly diagnosed asthma in migraineurs with or without previous triptan prescriptions

Headache. 2008 Apr;48(4):606-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2007.01030.x. Epub 2008 Jan 11.


Background: Previous observational studies reported an increased prevalence of asthma in migraine patients. Whether triptans affect the asthma risk has not yet been explored in an epidemiological study.

Objective: To estimate the risk of newly diagnosed asthma in patients with a general practitioner-diagnosed migraine in the UK between 1994 and 2001.

Methods: A population-based follow-up study and a nested case-control analysis were conducted using the General Practice Research Database.

Results: The study encompassed 51,688 migraineurs and the same number of matched controls. In the follow-up analysis, the relative risk of developing asthma in migraineurs compared with non-migraineurs was 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-1.4). In the nested case-control analysis, the adjusted odds ratio for asthma in migraineurs overall was 1.17 (95% CI 1.01-1.35), and for those with a recent triptan prescription 1.12 (95% CI 0.65-1.94).

Conclusion: The risk of developing asthma was not materially altered for patients with a general practitioner-recorded migraine diagnosis, regardless of triptan use.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / complications*
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tryptamines / adverse effects*


  • Tryptamines