Factors associated to chronic migraine with medication overuse: A cross-sectional study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and aim Factors implicated in the evolution of episodic migraine into chronic migraine are largely elusive. Medication overuse is considered to be one of the main determinants, but other possible clinical and psychological factors can play a role. The aim of this study is to identify factors that are associated with chronic migraine with medication overuse. Method We enrolled consecutive migraine patients, subdividing them in two groups: Subjects with a long history of episodic migraine and subjects with chronic migraine and medication overuse. We then compared their clinical and psychological variables in a cross-sectional study. Results Three hundred and eighteen patients were enrolled, of which 156 were episodic migraine and 162 were chronic migraine and medication overuse patients. The mean age was 42.1 ± 10.3, 80.8% were female. The duration of migraine was 24.6 years in episodic migraine and 24.0 years in chronic migraine and medication overuse ( p = 0.57). After the multivariate analysis, the factors associated to chronic migraine and medication overuse were: Marital status (married vs. unmarried, OR 3.65, 95% CI 1.63-8.19, p = 0.002; separated/divorced/widowed vs. unmarried, OR 4.19, 95% CI 1.13-15.47, p = 0.031), physical activity (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.19-0.91, p = 0.029), age at onset of migraine (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.89-0.98, p = 0.016), use of at least one migraine preventive medication (OR 2.36, 95% CI 1.18-4.71, p = 0.014), history of depression (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.25-6.73, p = 0.012), insomnia associated with the use of hypnotics (OR 5.59, 95% CI 1.65-18.93, p = 0.006), traumatic head injuries (OR 3.54, 95% CI 1.57-7.99, p = 0.002), snoring (OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.05-4.79, p = 0.036), previous and/or actual use of combined oral contraceptives (OR 3.38, 95% CI 1.10-10.3, p = 0.031) and higher scores in the Childhood Trauma questionnaire (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.09-2.02, p = 0.012). Conclusion We considered several aspects that may be involved in the development of chronic migraine and medication overuse. A multivariate analysis identified 10 factors belonging to five different areas, to suggest that chronic migraine and medication overuse onset is likely influenced by a complex mixture of factors. This information is useful when planning strategies to prevent and manage chronic migraine and medication overuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333102418761047
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 1 2018


Cite this