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Neurology. 1999 Sep 22;53(5):995-9.

The relative role of genetic and environmental factors in migraine without aura.

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1
Department of Neurology, Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Glostrup, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To clarify the relative role of genetic and environmental factors in the etiology of migraine without aura (MO).

METHODS:

The study population consisted of 5,360 twins, 1,013 monozygotic (MZ) and 1,667 same-gender dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs, from the population-based Danish Twin Registry. A total of 87% completed a simple validated questionnaire screening for migraine. All twin pairs, in whom at least one twin had self-reported migraine or severe headache with accompanying symptoms, were interviewed via telephone by a physician. Ninety percent of the eligible twins were interviewed. Probandwise concordance rates and correlations in liability were calculated, and structural equation model-fitting analyses were applied to quantitate the relative role of genetic and environmental factors in the etiology of MO.

RESULTS:

The probandwise concordance rate was higher in MZ than DZ twin pairs (0.43 versus 0.31; 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.49 versus 0.26 to 0.36). The correlation in liability was higher in MZ than in DZ twin pairs (0.62 versus 0.41; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.74 versus 0.29 to 0.53). Structural equation model fitting indicated a highly significant genetic component, because a model with both genetic and environmental components fitted significantly better than a model with only environmental components. The best fitting model implied that the liability to MO resulted from additive genetic effects (61%; 95% CI, 49 to 71%)) and individual-specific environmental effects (39%; 95% CI, 29 to 51%).

CONCLUSION:

This study indicates that genetic factors play a role in the etiology of migraine without aura. The genetic variability is additive, with a negligible contribution of nonadditive genetic effects. The genetic contributions were similar in men and women despite a higher prevalence in women. Environmental factors are equally important and these factors are individual to the migraineurs.

PMID:
10496258
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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