MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Gretchen Tietjen MD
Professor and Chair of Neurology
Director of UTMC Headache Treatment and Research Program
Director of the UTMC Stroke Program
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Tietjen : C-reactive protein (CRP) is a well-established biomarker of inflammation. Elevated levels of CRP predict future cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke. Evidence linking higher CRP levels with migraine is limited and results from large population-based studies are conflicting. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data for children and adolescents linked elevated CRP to headache, particularly in girls, and the Women’s Health Study showed an association of CRP with migraine in women over 45 years of age. In the Reykjavik study, CRP levels in persons with migraine were similar to levels in those without migraine. The aim of our study was to examine the relationship of CRP and migraine in a large population-based sample of over 9,000 young adults (24 to 32 years old) from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health).
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Dr. Tietjen: About 11% of the participants reported migraine. The persons with migraine had significantly higher levels of CRP than those without migraine. Even when the variables such as age, race, income, weight, infections, depression and anxiety were taken into account, migraine remained linked to higher levels of CRP both in the entire population, and also in women.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Dr. Tietjen: The finding that CRP is elevated in migraine, particularly in young adult women, suggests that inflammation is a cause of a consequence of migraine, and may, in part, explain the link between migraine and stroke.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Tietjen: It would be interesting to see if elevated CRP in persons with migraine is tied to subclinical stroke, by examining MRIs. It would also be interesting to see if preventive treatments for migraine decrease CRP levels.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
The CRP and Migraine in Young Adults study analyzed adults aged 24-32 in Wave 4 of the Add Health Study presented at this year’s American Headache Society’s 58th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego on Thursday, June 9th?
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