Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS
Migraine in children is associated with increased risk for functional gastrointestinal disorders, according to a case-control study in the Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
Researchers studied 425 children aged 6–17 years who were diagnosed with migraine or tension-type headache in the emergency department, and 650 children who presented to the ED with minor injuries (controls). The children and their parents completed questionnaires about GI symptoms, and diagnoses of functional GI disorders were made accordingly.
Functional GI disorders were diagnosed in 32% of children with migraine, versus 18% of controls. After multivariable adjustment, migraine was associated with significantly increased risks for functional dyspepsia (odds ratio, 10.8), abdominal migraine (OR, 5.9), and irritable bowel syndrome (OR, 3.5), but with significantly decreased risk for functional constipation (OR, 0.3).
Tension-type headache was not associated with GI disorders.
The authors offer several potential mechanisms for the increased risks seen with migraine, including inflammatory mediators and serotonin activity. They say they have “no explanation” for the inverse relationship with constipation.