Estrogen Levels May Play a Role in Migraine Prevalence in Men

A study of 39 men found that those affected by migraine had higher levels of estradiol, an estrogen, than those without migraine.

Previous studies have pointed to increased estrogen levels accounting for the higher migraine prevalence in women. During childbearing years, women (24%) are 3-times more likely than men (8%) to experience migraine; additionally, they may experience a more frequently and severe form of migraine.

Now, new research suggests that the hormone also plays a role in migraine prevalence among men. A study of 39 men found that those affected by migraine had higher levels of estradiol, an estrogen, than those without migraine.

Researchers recruited 17 participants experiencing migraine headaches and 22 controls from a nationwide public announcement, advertising in the press, and the research website. Participants with migraine experienced migraine an average of 3 times per month. Four blood samples were drawn from each participant on a single day, 3 hours apart, to test levels of estradiol and testosterone. For participants with migraine, the first blood samples were collected on a nonmigraine day and, in addition, blood samples were drawn on each day thereafter until they had a migraine.

Click to continue reading on The American Journal of Managed Care.