New and sex-specific migraine susceptibility loci identified from a multiethnic genome-wide meta-analysis

Commun Biol. 2021 Jul 22;4(1):864. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02356-y.


Migraine is a common disabling primary headache disorder that is ranked as the most common neurological cause of disability worldwide. Women present with migraine much more frequently than men, but the reasons for this difference are unknown. Migraine heritability is estimated to up to 57%, yet much of the genetic risk remains unaccounted for, especially in non-European ancestry populations. To elucidate the etiology of this common disorder, we conduct a multiethnic genome-wide association meta-analysis of migraine, combining results from the GERA and UK Biobank cohorts, followed by a European-ancestry meta-analysis using public summary statistics. We report 79 loci associated with migraine, of which 45 were novel. Sex-stratified analyses identify three additional novel loci (CPS1, PBRM1, and SLC25A21) specific to women. This large multiethnic migraine study provides important information that may substantially improve our understanding of the etiology of migraine susceptibility.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian / genetics
  • Black or African American / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies / methods
  • Genetic Association Studies / statistics & numerical data
  • Genetic Loci / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / ethnology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / methods*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / statistics & numerical data
  • Hispanic or Latino / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / ethnology
  • Migraine Disorders / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Sex Factors
  • White People / genetics