The Asthma and Migraine Connection

In a study, the link between asthma and chronic migraine has been reinforced. According to specialists at the headache clinic, Asthma, a respiratory condition characterized by wheezing and difficulty in breathing, can increase the risks for future chronic migraines – or as the researchers say it, asthma can be a strong predictor of chronic migraine attacks in the future for people who are presently experiencing occasional migraine attacks.

The study was conducted by teams of researchers from the Montefiore Headache Center, the University of Cincinnati, Vedanta Research, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The findings were published in Headache, an online journal published by the American Headache Society, in November 2015.

According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Vincent Martin, people who have asthma as well as either occasional or episodic migraines are more likely to experience chronic migraines, a more disabling form of migraine. The group of researchers studied approximately 4,500 individuals with episodic migraine headaches, usually fewer than 15 headaches per month, in 2008.

The participants answered written questionnaires in 2008 and 2009. From their 2008 answers, they were divided into two groups – one group without asthma but with episodic migraine and one group with both episodic migraine and asthma. Both the 2008 and 2009 questionnaires contained questions about the following matters:

  • Medication usage
  • Smoking status
  • Depression
  • Frequency of headaches to determine whose condition has progressed into chronic migraine

After a year of follow-up, the researchers found that 5.4 percent of the individuals with episodic migraine and asthma developed signs of onset chronic migraine. Only 2.5 percent of the individuals without asthma but with episodic migraine developed the more severe type of migraine.

Why are the two apparently unrelated medical conditions linked? Keep in mind that asthma and migraine are disorders involving the inflammation and activation of the smooth muscles in the airways and blood vessels, respectively. As such, asthma-related inflammation increases the risks toward migraine progression.

Dr. Martin further stressed that the strength of the connection between the two medical conditions is high. Asthma was a stronger marker or predictor for migraine in comparison with depression, for example, which should alert persons with asthma about their risks.

When you have episodic migraines and asthma, you should ideally have both of your medical conditions managed by qualified medical professionals. Headache specialists of any of the Healthpointe clinics, such as the one in Anaheim near Fullerton, Placentia, Villa Park, Buena Park, Cypress, Cerritos, and Garden Grove, are available for this job.

Come to any of our clinics, such as the one in Colton near Rialto, Bloomington, San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Highgrove, and Grand Terrace, for proper management of your migraine attacks.

About Healthpointe:

Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Anaheim near Fullerton, Placentia, Villa Park, Buena Park, Cypress, Cerritos, and Garden Grove. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit

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