CINCINNATI People with migraine who also battle allergies and hay fever (rhinitis) endure a more severe form of headaches than their peers who struggle with migraine, but aren't affected by the seasonal or year-round sniffles, according to researchers from the University of Cincinnati (UC), Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Vedanta Research.
About 12 percent of the U.S. population experiences migraine, which is three times more common in women than men. Allergies and hay feveralso known as allergic rhinitisare quite common as well, affecting anywhere from a quarter to half of the U.S. population. They produce symptoms such as a stuffy and runny nose, post nasal drip and itching of the nose.
The results were published in the Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, online edition of the journal Cephalalgia. The study is one of the first tying the relationship of rhinitisirritation and inflammation of the nasal mucus membrane caused by allergic and non-allergic triggersto the frequency of migraine headaches, says Vincent Martin, MD, professor of medicine in UC's division of general internal medicine, co-director of the Headache and Facial Pain Program at UC and lead author of the study.
"We are not sure whether the rhinitis causes the increased frequency of headaches or whether the migraine attacks themselves produce symptoms of rhinitis in these patients," Martin says. "What we can say is if you have these symptoms, you are more likely to have more frequent and disabling headaches."
Martin and Jonathan Bernstein, MD, professor of medicine and director of clinical research in the division of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at UC, teamed with Richard Lipton, MD, and Dawn Buse, PhD, both of Montefiore and Einstein; and Kristina Fanning, PhD; Daniel Serrano, PhD; and Michael Reed, PhD, all from Vedanta Research, to conduct the study.
The researchers analyzed da
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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center