Prevalence of unexplained upper abdominal symptoms in patients with migraine

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Abstract

Patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders frequently report migraine. We aimed to determine the prevalence of idiopathic upper abdominal symptoms in patients with migraine and compare it with a control population of healthy blood donors. We assessed abdominal symptoms using the Bowel Disease Questionnaire in a series of 488 consecutive blood donors without migraine and 99 patients with migraine. Upper abdominal symptoms were reported by 38%[95% confidence interval (CI) 32, 44] of blood donors compared with 81% (67, 91, P < 0.001) of migraine patients. Of the blood donors, 23% (18, 28) reported frequent dyspepsia compared with 60% (44, 74, P < 0.001) of the migraine patients. Migraine was associated with frequent upper abdominal symptoms (odds ratio 2.7, 95% CI 1.2, 6.1) after adjusting for age, gender, smoking and consumption of analgesics and alcohol. Upper abdominal symptoms are significantly more frequent in patients with migraine compared with healthy controls. The association between migraine and idiopathic upper abdominal symptoms may suggest common pathophysiological mechanisms.

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