Association of migraines with brain tumors: A nationwide population-based study 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services

Chao Hung Chen, Jau Jiuan Sheu, Yi Chun Lin, Herng Ching Lin

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Background: Several studies examined headaches as a symptom of brain neoplasms. Nevertheless, very few studies attempted to specifically evaluate the role of headaches as a risk factor. This study aimed to investigate the risk of migraine occurrence in the preceding years among patients diagnosed with brain tumors and unaffected controls. Methods: Data were obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. In total, 11,325 adults with a first-time brain tumor diagnosis were included as cases, together with 11,325 unaffected matched controls. Each individual was traced in the healthcare claims dataset for a prior diagnosis of migraines. Conditional logistic regressions were performed to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) to present the association between brain tumors and having previously been diagnosed with migraines. Results: We found that among patients with and those without brain tumors, 554 (4.89%) and 235 (2.08%) individuals, respectively, were identified as having a prior migraine diagnosis. Compared to unaffected controls, patients with brain tumors experienced an independent 2.45-fold increased risk of having a prior migraine diagnosis. The risks were even higher among men (odds ratio (OR) = 3.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.29~ 4.04) and after patients who had received a prior migraine diagnosis within 3 years were excluded (OR = 1.91, 95% CI = 1.59~ 2.29). Conclusions: This is the first report demonstrating the occurrence of brain tumors to be associated with a prior migraine history, for both men and women, in a population-based study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2018



  • Brain tumor
  • Epidemiology
  • Migraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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