Objective: To assess the prevalence of headache in clinic and support group patients with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) compared with a sample of healthy controls.
Background: European studies have demonstrated increased prevalence of headache of patients with celiac disease compared with controls.
Methods: Subjects took a self-administered survey containing clinical, demographic, and dietary data, as well as questions about headache type and frequency. The ID-Migraine screening tool and the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) were also used.
Results: Five hundred and two subjects who met exclusion criteria were analyzed - 188 with celiac disease, 111 with IBD, 25 with gluten sensitivity (GS), and 178 controls (C). Chronic headaches were reported by 30% of celiac disease, 56% of GS, 23% of IBD, and 14% of control subjects (P<.0001). On multivariate logistic regression, celiac disease (odds ratio [OR] 3.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.78-8.10), GS (OR 9.53, 95%CI 3.24-28.09), and IBD (OR 2.66, 95%CI 1.08-6.54) subjects all had significantly higher prevalence of migraine headaches compared with controls. Female sex (P=.01), depression, and anxiety (P=.0059) were independent predictors of migraine headaches, whereas age >65 was protective (P=.0345). Seventy-two percent of celiac disease subjects graded their migraine as severe in impact, compared with 30% of IBD, 60% of GS, and 50% of C subjects (P=.0919). There was no correlation between years on gluten-free diet and migraine severity.
Conclusions: Migraine was more prevalent in celiac disease and IBD subjects than in controls. Future studies should include screening migraine patients for celiac disease and assessing the effects of gluten-free diet on migraines in celiac disease.
© 2012 American Headache Society.