Migraine Frequency and Intensity Linked to Cholesterol Levels

While everyone should keep their cholesterol levels under control, those who suffer from migraine headaches may want to pay extra attention to their diet and exercise routine.

While everyone should keep their cholesterol levels under control, those who suffer from migraine headaches may want to pay extra attention to their diet and exercise routine.

It’s widely understood that high cholesterol levels increase the risk of many cardiovascular issues such as heart disease; in addition, there are some lesser-known risks like early memory problems and disease progression in patients with HIV. Now, researchers from the University of Chieti in Italy have linked high cholesterol with the frequency and intensity of migraines.

The team examined the lipid assets in 52 patients with migraine, 17 with and 36 without aura. Lipid levels were assessed before and after three months of drug treatment for migraine prophylaxis. High frequency was considered at least eight migraines per month and any less being low frequency. Numeric Rating Scores were also measured with five or more being high intensity and any less being low intensity.

High frequency and intensity were associated with significantly higher cholesterol levels, both LDL and total cholesterol, when compared to the low frequency and intensity patients. Furthermore, patients who underwent treatment experienced significantly less migraines with less intensity which led to reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels.

“A direct linear correlations was also found between frequency and intensity of crises and lipid levels,” the authors wrote in PAIN Practice.

The team noted that there was not a significant difference observed in patients with and without aura.

“This study shows a significant positive association between migraine frequency and intensity with total and LDL cholesterol, demonstrating for the first time a significant reduction of these lipid parameters after migraine prophylaxis,” the authors confirmed.

However, they went on to explain that these results should be viewed as preliminary, due to the small population pool, and advised that future research is necessary to verify the findings.