Migraine and risk of incident diabetes in women: a prospective study

Cephalalgia. 2012 Oct;32(13):991-7. doi: 10.1177/0333102412453954. Epub 2012 Jul 17.


Background: Previous cross-sectional studies evaluating the relationship between diabetes prevalence and migraine status have found conflicting results. We examined the relationship between migraine and incident type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a cohort of adult women.

Methods: Prospective cohort study conducted among participants in the Women's Health Study who provided information on migraine and did not have diabetes at baseline. Our four exposure groups were migraine with aura, migraine without aura, past history of migraine and no history of migraine. Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the hazard ratio for incident T2D.

Results: Among the 38,620 women included in this study, 5062 (13.1%) women had migraine, of whom 2014 (39.8%) reported migraine with aura, and 2087 (5.4%) women had a past history of migraine. During a mean of 14.6 years of follow-up, there were 3032 cases of incident T2D. After adjustment for confounders, the hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) for developing diabetes was 1.06 (0.91-1.24) for women with migraine with aura, 1.01 (0.89-1.16) for women with migraine without aura, and 1.13 (0.98-1.30) for women with a past history of migraine compared with women with no history of migraine.

Conclusion: Results of this prospective study in women do not support an association between migraine and incident T2D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / complications*
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors