Migraine often occurs with other health problems, and Italian researchers recently found its frequency and intensity have been linked with high levels of cholesterol. When researchers from the University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy, examined the cholesterol levels of 52 patients with migraine, they found that higher total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels were associated with more severe and frequent migraines than in patients with lower cholesterol levels. Preventative migraine treatment appeared to improve the frequency of migraine attacks, and researchers found that as the migraine attacks improved, so did total and LDL cholesterol levels.  No significant differences were observed in patients experiencing migraine, with and without aura.

“This study shows a significant positive association between migraine frequency and intensity with total and LDL cholesterol, demonstrating for the first time a significant reduction of these lipid parameters after migraine prophylaxis,” the authors wrote, although they cautioned that results should be considered preliminary until confirmed by future controlled trials.

NHF Executive Chair, Seymour Diamond, MD, commented on the study, issuing a word of caution:

“Sometimes statistics can be misleading. Headache sufferers should be interested in the findings of this study, but certainly the small number of patients involved in the research impacts the validity of the data,” he said.

The study was led by Claudio Tana, MD, from the G. D’Annunzio University in Chieti, Italy, and it appeared in the journal, Pain Practice.