Diabetes linked with lower migraine risk

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A new study shows that having diabetes is linked with a lower risk of suffering migraines.
The news makes a welcome change from the usual news that links diabetes to higher rates of conditions. It is great to see that diabetes appears to confer some advantages.
Migraine is a moderate or severe headache that presents as throbbing pain on one side of the head. It occurs in around one in five women and one in 15 men. Nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to sound and light are other symptoms that may accompany migraine.
The study was carried out by Norwegian researchers who used data from the Norwegian prescription database. A period of 10-years was reviewed for development of type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or migraine.
The data included over 100,000 people with diabetes. 92% of the people with diabetes had type 2 diabetes and 8% with type 1 diabetes.
Incidence of migraine was 26% lower in people with type 1 diabetes than in the population with diabetes. The data was adjusted for age and sex to reach this figure. People with type 2 diabetes showed an 11% reduction in risk of migraines with the same adjustment.
When education level was also factored in, the results for type 1 and type 2 diabetes were similar to each other.
The researchers conclude that both types of diabetes were associated with a lower risk of migraine and that the results suggest that diabetes may present a protective factor against developing migraine.
The way the study was run did not enable researchers to look into why people with diabetes were at lower risk of migraine.
To date, the reasons why migraine occurs are not well understood. One theory is that they may result from chemical changes in the body that affect the nerves and blood vessels close to the brain.
Hormonal changes may play a part in migraines and it is possible that this may be part of the reason why people with diabetes have a lower risk of migraine. Other possible factors include differences that may affect the blood vessels or nerves of people with diabetes.
More research will be needed to investigate why people with diabetes show lower risk of migraine.
The study is published in Cephalalgia: An International Journal of Headache.