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Headache. 2015 Jun;55(6):860-5. doi: 10.1111/head.12590. Epub 2015 May 21.

Frequency of Migraine Headaches in Patients With Fibromyalgia.

Author information

  • 1Headache Center, Neurology Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.
  • 2Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the frequency of migraine headache in a large cohort of patients with fibromyalgia using a brief migraine headache-screening tool.


Several studies report a high prevalence of fibromyalgia among patients with migraine headaches, but there is a dearth of research evaluating the frequency of migraine headaches in patients with fibromyalgia, despite clinical observations suggesting that migraine headaches are common in patients with fibromyalgia.


This was a cross-sectional survey study. Patients (N = 3717) with a previous diagnosis of fibromyalgia who were members of the Mayo Clinic Fibromyalgia Registry were contacted by electronic survey and asked to complete a brief demographic and medical history questionnaire and the validated ID-Migraine screener.


A total of 1730 patients (46.5%) completed the electronic survey. The majority of participants were white (97.2%), female (92.5%), with a mean age of 56.2 (±13.1) years. Of the respondents, 966 (55.8%) met criteria for migraine headaches. Hypertension (309 [32.3%] vs. 294 [40.1%], P = .004), asthma (312 [32.5%] vs. 189 [25.9%], P = .011), irritable bowel syndrome (520 [54.6%] vs. 348 [47.6], P = .017), chronic fatigue syndrome (486 [50.7%] vs. 271 [37.1], P < .0001), depression (634 [66.5%] vs. 413 [56.7%], P = .0002), anxiety (415 [43.5%] vs. 252 [34.7%], P = .0011), and post-traumatic stress disorder (172 [18.0%] vs. 96 [13.2%], P = .006) were all significantly more common in those who met criteria for migraine headaches than those who did not.


The results of this study suggest that migraine headaches are common in patients with fibromyalgia. Clinicians who care for either population must be aware that these conditions commonly overlap and can significantly increase a patient's cumulative disease burden.

© 2015 American Headache Society.


ID-Migraine; central sensitization; chronic pain; fibromyalgia; headache; migraine

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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