Migraine without Aura and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Young Females: Is Gut Microbiota to Blame?

Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Dec 16;55(12):786. doi: 10.3390/medicina55120786.


Background and Objectives: Migraine with aura (MA) could be considered a risk factor for developing atherosclerosis and cardio-vascular events. However, less is known about the relation between migraine without aura (MWA) and atherosclerosis. Our study aimed to assess whether young female migraineurs, with alterations of gut microbiota could associate early atherosclerosis. Materials and Methods: We conducted an exploratory cross-sectional, pilot study concerning 105 consecutive young females having MWA, with recent normal brain scans, that were free of cardio-vascular risk factors, non-smokers, not on oral contraception, not pregnant, and without thyroid or parathyroid diseases, chronic organ failure, cancer, or on probiotic or antibiotic treatment. Consecutive to assessment of gut microbiota, patients were assigned to two groups: dysbiosis positive (n = 45) and dysbiosis negative (n = 60). All study participants underwent clinical examinations with an assessment of migraine severity, body mass index and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), as well as laboratory workups. Statistical analysis was performed using a chi-squared test (χ2), a two-tailed t-test and a nonparametric Spearman's correlation test. Results: The dysbiosis positive migraineurs showed a significant increase in CIMT along with several anthropometrical, biological and clinical particularities. Significant positive correlations between dysbiosis and CIMT, glycosylated hemoglobin, migraine severity and duration, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and body mass index were found. Conclusions: Young female migraineurs with significant alterations of gut microbiota experienced early signs of atherosclerosis and displayed severe migraine disability, as well as multiple biological and clinical particularities.

Keywords: gut microbiota; subclinical atherosclerosis; young female migraineurs.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / immunology
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dysbiosis / complications
  • Dysbiosis / immunology
  • Dysbiosis / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine without Aura / complications
  • Migraine without Aura / immunology
  • Migraine without Aura / physiopathology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk Factors