Scientific publications

Excess abdominal fat is associated with cutaneous allodynia in individuals with migraine: a prospective cohort study

Feb 4, 2020 | Magazine: The Journal of Headache and Pain

Ane Mínguez-Olaondo, Iván Martínez-Valbuena, Sonia Romero, Gema Frühbeck, María Rosario Luquin, Eduardo Martínez-Vila, Pablo Irimia

Objective: To investigate the specific relationship between cutaneous allodynia (CA) and the percentages of body fat (BF) and abdominal fat in migraineurs. Additionally, we compared serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers in patients with and without CA.

Background: Excess abdominal fat might facilitate progressive changes in nociceptive thresholds causing central sensitization, clinically reflected as CA, which could drive migraine progression.

Methods: This prospective cohort study included 80 patients with migraine (mean age 39 years, 81.2% female) and 39 non-migraine controls. We analysed each participant's height, body weight, and body mass index (BMI). The amount and distribution of BF was also assessed by air displacement plethysmography (ADP) and ViScan, respectively. We analysed serum levels of markers of inflammation, during interictal periods.

Results: We studied 52 patients with episodic migraine (EM) and 28 with chronic migraine (CM). Of the 80 patients, 53 (53.8%) had CA. Migraineurs with CA had a higher proportion of abdominal fat values than patients without CA (p = 0.04). The independent risk factors for CA were the use of migraine prophylaxis (OR 3.26, 95% CI [1.14 to 9.32]; p = 0.03), proportion of abdominal fat (OR 1.13, 95% CI [1.01 to 1.27]; p = 0.04), and presence of sleep disorders (OR 1.13, 95% CI [00.01 to 1.27]; p = 0.04). The concordance correlation coefficient between the ADP and BMI measurements was 0.51 (0.3681 to 0.6247). CA was not correlated with the mean plasma levels of inflammatory biomarkers.

Conclusions: There is a relation between excess abdominal fat and CA. Abdominal obesity might contribute to the development of central sensitization in migraineurs, leading to migraine chronification.

CITATION  J Headache Pain. 2020 Feb 4;21(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s10194-020-1082-0.