Migraines linked with increased risk of pregnancy complications

In a study of women in Denmark with and without migraines who became pregnant, migraines were associated with an increased risk of pregnancy-associated hypertension disorders in the mother. Also, in newborns, maternal migraine was associated with an increased risk of a variety of adverse outcomes, including low birth weight, preterm birth, cesarean delivery, respiratory distress syndrome, and febrile seizures.

The Headache study included 22,841 pregnancies among women with migraine (including 16,861 with a liveborn offspring) and 228,324 age- and conception-year matched pregnancies among women without migraine (including 170,334 with a liveborn offspring).

Treated migraine was not linked with higher risks of adverse outcomes compared with untreated migraine. This suggests that migraine itself, rather than its treatment, is associated with pregnancy complications.

"Migraine is a disabling condition, common among women of reproductive age. Accumulating evidence shows that migraine in pregnancy may lead to several adverse outcomes in the mother and child, but treatment may alleviate these risks," said lead author Nils Skajaa, Epidemiologist Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital.

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