Migraine and Arterial Stiffness in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health: ELSA-Brasil

Am J Hypertens. 2020 Apr 29;33(5):458-464. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpaa005.


Background: The mechanisms that underlie the link between migraine and cardiovascular diseases are not clear and arterial stiffness could play a role in that association. We analyzed the association between migraine and vascular stiffness measured by carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV-cf).

Methods: In a cross-sectional analysis of a well-defined population from the Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) with complete and validated information about migraine and aura according to the International Headache Society criteria, the association between arterial stiffness measured by PWV-cf was tested with multiple linear regression models [β (95% CI)] comparing migraine without aura (MO) and migraine with aura (MA) to the reference group no-migraine (NM). Subsequent adjustments were made for mean arterial pressure, age, sex, education level, physical activity, alcohol use, diabetes mellitus, smoking, antihypertensive medication, body mass index, waist circumference, triglycerides, and LDL-c level to test the independence of the association between migraine status and pulse wave velocity.

Results: We studied 4,649 participants, 2,521 women (25.7% MO and 15% MA) and 2,128 men (11% MO and 4.3% MA). In NM, MO, and MA standard PWV-cf were 8.67 (±1.71) 8.11 (±1.31) and 8.01 (±1.47) m/s, respectively. Unadjusted PWV-cf differed between NM, MA, and MO (P < 0.001). After adjustment for mean arterial pressure PWV-cf in NM did not differ anymore from MA (P = 0.525) and MO (P = 0.121), respectively. Fully adjusted models also yielded nonsignificant coefficients β (95% CI) -0.079 (-0.280; 0.122) and -0.162 (-0.391; 0.067) for MO and MA, respectively.

Conclusion: In this large cohort of middle-aged adults, aortic PWV was not associated with migraine.

Keywords: arterial stiffness; blood pressure; hypertension; middle-aged; migraine disorders.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arterial Pressure
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Carotid-Femoral Pulse Wave Velocity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine with Aura / diagnosis
  • Migraine with Aura / epidemiology*
  • Migraine with Aura / physiopathology
  • Migraine without Aura / diagnosis
  • Migraine without Aura / epidemiology*
  • Migraine without Aura / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Stiffness*