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This retrospective cohort study assessed whether migraine was associated with an increased risk of retinal artery occlusion. They reviewed a large insurance database of 418,965 patients who suffered with migraines between 2007 and 2016. These were then matched with an equal number of patients who did not suffer from migraine. They found that of those patients who had a history of migraine, 1060 (0.25%) were subsequently diagnosed with a retinal artery occlusion, whereas in those with no history of migraine only 335 (0.08%) were diagnosed. This was statistically significant across all types of retinal artery occlusion, including central and branch retinal artery occlusion. The highest risk for retinal artery occlusions was in those patients who suffered migraines with auras. They also found that other significant risk factors were increasing age, male sex, acute coronary syndrome, valvular disease, carotid disease, hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, retinal vasculitis or inflammation and systemic lupus erythematous. This is the first large study of its kind but provides similar results comparing migraine and risk of ischaemic stroke. Further studies are needed as it only used data involving people who had made an insurance claim. In addition, there needs to be investigation as to whether controlling the migraines with medication reduces the risk of retinal artery occlusion.

Risk of retinal artery occlusion in patients with migraine.
Al-Moujahed A, Tran E, Azad A, et al.
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Tasmin Berman

University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

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