The pregnant females with migraine headaches are more likely to experience complications, and their babies are more at risk for complications early after their birth, too, according to a large study in Denmark.
Researchers have reported 22,841 pregnant women with migraine using Danish registries and compared them with 228,324 pregnant women without migraine. They found that the weakening disorder was linked to both blood pressure and miscarriage associated with pregnancy.
The levels of low birth weight, respiratory failure and febrile seizures were higher for mothers with migraines as compared to children with mothers without migraines.
Prior smaller studies have seen some of the same results, including hypertension from pregnancy and low birth weight, the Aarhus University co-author Nils Skajaa told Reuters Health by e-mail. Nevertheless, he said that the findings of the other neonatal and neurological threats are recent.
The authors wrote in the journal Headache, Migraine is more common in younger women, with up to 25 per cent of women of reproductive age affected by the illness.
More than 1,000 migraine cases were documented in most earlier studies.
Dr. Tina Nguyen and a report by UCLA Health in Los Angeles who was not involved in the study said the latest, larger study solidified what is already understood about the effect of migraine on pregnant women.
Skajaa and colleagues analyzed pregnancies from 2005 to 2012 on the basis of data from the Danish National Patient Registry and the Danish Medical Birth Registry.
Nearly 8% of women with migraine had hypertension-related pregnancy disorders and 11,3% experienced miscarriages, compared with 5% and 10,3% respectively, among women without migraine, the study found.
Of the babies delivered by these women, 6.1% are low birth weight, compared to 5.1% for babies born to migraine mothers. And 25.4 percent of migraine pregnancies have cesarean deliveries, compared with 22.3 percent of migraine-free pregnancies.
Depending on the other variables that might have an effect, women with migraines had a 50% higher risk for pregnancy-associated hypertension and 10% more risk of miscarriage, while babies had a 14% higher risk of babies with a low birth weight and a 20% higher risk of cesarean delivery.
Women taking migraine drugs had no greater risk of adverse effects compared to women with untreated migraines, the authors wrote that migraines are linked to adverse outcomes instead of treatment.
Retrospective research like this cannot establish cause and effect, and therefore it is not clear that the cause of complications is migraine. One drawback of the experiment sponsored by US pharmaceutical company Amgen is that participants could have been misclassified by diagnosing headaches outside of a clinic or by taking over – the-counter medicines. Nguyen also pointed out that the study lacked details on the participants ‘ race as well as their socio-economic status.
The American Academy of Family Physicians says that a doctor should see pregnant women with new-onset headaches.
Source : Reuters
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