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Migraine Sufferers At High Risk for Sleep Apnea and Other Disorders

For men in particular, sleep disturbances remain a common comorbidity

A PPM Brief

According to a new study presented1 at the recent American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, migraine sufferers, especially men with a history of chronic migraine, have a higher risk of sleep apnea and other sleep disturbances. In the presentation, researchers assessed the relationship of sleep disturbances and sleep apnea as comorbidities of episodic and chronic migraine by conducting a cross-sectional analysis of more than 12,800 participants who completed baseline and 3-month follow-up surveys over one year.

Researchers used a comorbidities/endophenotypes survey, based on the Berlin Scale for Sleep Apnea, and measured sleep disturbances through use of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Sleep Scale. Participants were also asked to report whether they had a diagnosis of any of these conditions. Results showed that 37% of participants were at high risk for sleep apnea (P < .001), with 10.1% of participants self-reporting a sleep apnea diagnosis. Of those who self-reported a diagnosis, 75.7% reported a physician’s diagnosis.1

Participants also reported snoring (episodic migraine: 32.1%; chronic migraine: 33.9%), shortness of breath (episodic migraine: 20.6%; chronic migraine: 29.8%), daytime somnolence (episodic migraine: 21.2%; chronic migraine: 23.4%), and sleep inadequacy (episodic migraine: 22.1%; chronic migraine: 24.2%).1

“These results suggest that assessing sleep quality and screening for sleep apnea is valuable for patients with migraine, especially among men and people with chronic migraine,” Dawn C. Buse, PhD, lead researcher and clinical professor in the department of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine said. “People with migraine who screen positive for sleep apnea should be referred for additional evaluation and treatment.”

She also noted that migraine sufferers should be educated and shown the benefits of proper sleep hygiene practices, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and getting adequate hours of sleep for managing the disease.

Last updated on: May 21, 2018
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