The relationship between migraine and lipid sub-fractions among individuals without cardiovascular disease: A cross-sectional evaluation in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil)

Cephalalgia. 2018 Mar;38(3):528-542. doi: 10.1177/0333102417699181. Epub 2017 Mar 16.


Introduction Recent studies have explored the relationship between dyslipidemia and migraine in a cardiovascular context. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the possible association between lipids, lipoprotein subfractions and migraine according to aura symptoms in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil). Methods 1,560 women and 1,595 men, without CVD or lipid disorders requiring medication, underwent a baseline clinical assessment. Total-cholesterol and its sub-fractions (LDL, VLDL and HDL subclass cholesterol); triglycerides and triglyceride-rich lipoprotein cholesterol [TRL-C (VLDL1+2-C VLDL3-C + IDL-C)] were determined by vertical auto profile (VAP). We also calculated logarithmic LDL density ratio [LLDR = ln ((LDL3-C + LDL4-C)/(LDL1-C + LDL2-C))], T-Chol/HDL-C and triglycerides/HDL-C ratios. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were obtained to evaluate the relationship between lipids tertiles and migraine for both sexes. Results Main findings revealed positive associations between migraine without aura (MO) and the highest tertiles of VLDL-C (OR, 1.61; 95%CI, 1.07-2.40) and TRL-C (OR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.03-2.34) in women. In men, the highest tertile of VLDL3-C (OR, 3.87; 95%CI, 1.23-12.19) was positively associated with MO, as well. Conclusions In middle-aged participants without CVD or lipid disorders requiring medication, the worst lipid profile was determined by the highest levels of TRL-C and their cholesterol-rich remnants in migraineurs without aura for both sexes.

Keywords: Migraine with aura; lipids; lipoproteins; observational study.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brazil
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Lipoproteins
  • Triglycerides
  • lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Cholesterol