Association between asthma and migraine: A cross-sectional study of over 110 000 adolescents

Yael Graif, Tamy Shohat, Yossy Machluf, Rivka Farkash, Yoram Chaiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Epidemiological studies have reported an association between asthma and migraine, mainly in adults. Objective: To examine the association between specialist-diagnosed asthma and migraine among adolescents. Methods: The electronic database of a recruitment center was retrospectively searched for all 17-year-old draftees during the years 1987-2010. Diagnoses of asthma and migraine were made by certified specialists. The prevalence of migraine was compared among draftees with and without asthma. Covariate data on socio-demographics and associated medical conditions were recorded. Results: A total of 113 671 adolescents were available for analysis. Asthma was diagnosed among 4.0% and migraine among 1.9%. Migraine was significantly more prevalent among adolescents with asthma [174 of the 4581 subjects (3.8%)] compared to those without asthma [1946 of the 109 090 (1.8%)] [OR = 2.17 (95% CI 1.86-2.55; P < 0.001)]. Rates of migraine among subjects with and without allergic rhinitis were 6.3% and 1.7%, respectively [OR = 4.04 (95% CI 3.58-4.56; P < 0.001)]. On multivariate analysis, there was a significant association between migraine and both asthma [OR = 1.42 (95% CI 1.19-1.68)] and allergic rhinitis [OR = 3.18 (95% CI 2.80-3.63)]. Other factors significantly associated with migraine were female gender, urban area of residence, recent immigration to Israel, having three or fewer siblings, and abnormal body mass index. Conclusion: Clinicians should be aware that asthma and allergic rhinitis are potential risk factors for migraine in adolescents. A combined finding of these conditions and recurrent headache is highly suggestive of migraine and warrants a different diagnosis and treatment approach from sinusitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2491-2496
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Respiratory Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • allergic rhinitis
  • asthma
  • headache
  • migraine
  • risk factor
  • sinusitis
  • specialist


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between asthma and migraine: A cross-sectional study of over 110 000 adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this