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Cephalalgia. 2009 Mar;29(3):286-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01704.x.

Migraine is a risk factor for hypertensive disorders in pregnancy: a prospective cohort study.

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  • 1Unit of Psychobiology of Reproduction-UCADH, Mother-Infant Department, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.


The aim was to assess whether women suffering from migraine are at higher risk of developing hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. In a prospective cohort study, performed at antenatal clinics in three maternity units in Northern Italy, 702 normotensive women with singleton pregnancy at 11-16 weeks' gestation were enrolled. Women with a history of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy or presenting chronic hypertension were excluded. The presence of migraine was investigated according to International Headache Society criteria. The main outcome measure was the onset of hypertension in pregnancy, defined as the occurrence of either gestational hypertension or preeclampsia. Two hundred and seventy women (38.5%) were diagnosed with migraine. The majority (68.1%) suffered from migraine without aura. The risk of developing hypertensive disorders in pregnancy was higher in migraineurs (9.1%) compared with non-migraineurs (3.1%) [odds ratio (OR) adjusted for age, family history of hypertension and smoking 2.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40, 5.81]. Women with migraine also showed a trend to increased risk for low birth weight infants with respect to women without migraine (OR 1.97, 95% CI 0.98, 3.98). Women with migraine are to be considered at increased risk of developing hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. The diagnosis of primary headaches should be taken into account at antenatal examination.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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