Clinical features and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome in Migraine patients Chunlin Li1, Shengyuan Yu2, Huiying Li3, Jin Zhou4, Jieqiong Liu5, Wenjing Tang6, Lei Zhang7 ABSTRACT Objective: Clinical and basic research increasingly suggests a correlation between migraine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In this study, we aimed to explore the clinical features and risk factors for IBS in migraine patients. Methods: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study. A total of 1,112 consecutive patients from the internal medicine and emergency departments of three hospitals from June 2014 through 2016. A comprehensive interviewer-administered questionnaire was designed based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (beta version). Results: The response rate was 94.6%. Among 1,052 participants, 287 suffered from migraine (27.3%) and 312 suffered from IBS (29.7%). A total of 79 patients suffered from both migraine and IBS (comorbidity rate: 7.5%). The migraine cohort exhibited a higher frequency of IBS than did the comparison cohort at baseline (P0.05). Multiple regression analysis indicated length of headache history and headache frequency were associated with IBS. Conclusion: Migraine patients with a long headache history, recurrent episodic headache attacks, and anxiety were more likely to have IBS. KEY WORDS: Brain-gut axis, Central sensitization, Irritable bowel syndrome, Migraine. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.333.12379
How to cite this:
Li C, Yu S, Li H, Zhou J, Liu J, Tang W, Zhang L. Clinical features and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome in Migraine patients. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(3):720-725. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.333.12379 This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
INTRODUCTION Migraine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are both functional disorders characterized by recurrent pain in the absence of detectable causes for symptoms. These seemingly distinct clinical
Correspondence: Shengyuan Yu, PhD, MD. Department of Neurology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Fuxing Road 28, Haidian District, Beijing 100853, China. E-mail: [email protected]
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January 17, 2017
April 7, 2017
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disorders share many similarities in epidemiology, female predominance, comorbidities, and proposed pathological and physiological mechanisms. IBS is a chronic, relapsing gastrointestinal condition characterized by a set of symptoms associated with abnormal bowel function and sensation such as recurrent episodes of abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. Similar to migraine, IBS is more common in young and middle-aged people under the age of 50 years and more predominant in women.1 The diagnosis of IBS is most frequently established by satisfying the symptom-based Rome 3 criteria, which include symptoms such as constipation/diarrhea, distention, abdominal pain and discomfort; in addition, organic gastrointestinal disease must be excluded. The etiologies and
Migraine and irritable bowel syndrome risk
pathogenesis of IBS are not clear. The etiologies are related to many factors, including genetics, food inflammation, and psychological factors, among others. The pathogenesis is primarily focused on the brain-gut axis, brain gut peptides, altered gut motility, immune system, visceral hypersensitivity, etc.2 Migraine is defined as a common primary headache and is the sixth most common disabling disease. Clinical manifestation of migraine is a paroxysmal moderate to severe headache that seriously affects the quality of life and the labor capacity of patients.3 A recent national epidemiological survey estimated that the frequency of migraine in mainland China was 9.3% (5.9% for men and 12.8% for women).4 Clinical and basic research increasingly suggests a correlation between migraine and IBS.5,6 Although an association between IBS and migraine has been identified, the clinical features of migraine patients with IBS are rarely reported in literature. This study aimed to explore the intrinsic link between IBS and migraine and reveal the clinical features of migraine patients with IBS. This information will help provide reasonable management and preventive methods for the comorbidity. METHODS This study was a retrospective cross-sectional observational study. It was conducted at the General Hospital of PLA, Rocket Army General Hospital, and the 316th Hospital of PLA from June 2014 through July 2016. Data were gathered from 1112 consecutive patients in the internal medicine and emergency departments. Only adult patients (greater than 18 years of age) were enrolled in the study. The diagnosis of IBS was based on the Rome III criteria.7 The migraine diagnostic criteria were based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (beta version) (ICHD-3-beta).8 All 1112 patients were asked to complete a series of questionnaires consisting of validated components on IBS symptomatology and migraine symptomatology. IBS was diagnosed according to the Rome 3 Criteria: Recurrent abdominal discomfort or pain, 3 days per month in the last 3 months (12 weeks); associated with ≥2 of the criteria below. The criteria were fulfilled with the following symptoms for six months before diagnosis. 1) Improvement with defecation; 2) Onset associated with a change in stool frequency;
3) Onset associated with a change in stool form (appearance). The headache questionnaires included general state (including sex, age, anamnesis, etc.) and headache characteristics (including duration, frequency, intensity, inducement, etc.). Headache frequency was assessed by the average number of days with headache per month. Headache pain severity was assessed using the visual analogue score (VAS), which ranges from 0 to 10. Complications such as anxiety and depression disorders were assessed by the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), respectively. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Statistics version 16.0. Normally distributed data that obeyed the normal distribution is expressed as means ± standard deviations; enumeration data is expressed as percentages. For single factor analyses, the data were analyzed by variances, and the LSD-t method was used to compare groups. Enumeration data was assessed using the Kruskal-Wallis H test. IBS was the dependent variable in the multivariate analysis (logistic stepwise regression analysis) to determine whether clinical features of migraine were risk factors for IBS. Ethical Considerations: All participants provided informed consent. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Chinese PLA General Hospital and the Military Medical Postgraduate College. RESULTS Among 1,110 patients, 48 submitted incomplete or unreliable questionnaires, and 1,052 completed the survey. The response rate was 94.8%. The median age of respondents was 41.5 years and 706 respondents were female. Among 1,052 participants, 287 suffered from migraine (27.3%) and 312 suffered from IBS (29.7%); 79 patients suffered from both migraine and IBS (comorbidity rate: 7.5%). Baseline demographic status and comorbidity in migraine and comparison cohorts: A comparison group of 287 participants without migraine was matched to the migraine group according to sex and age. The demographics and comorbidities of the migraine and comparison cohorts are shown in Table-I. Both groups were similar in average age and smoking and drinking habits. The migraine cohort had a higher frequency of IBS than did the comparison cohort at baseline (P < 0.05).
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Chunlin Li et al.
Table-I: Baseline data for comparison and migraine cohorts.
Migraine (n = 287)
No migraine (n = 287)
Odds ratio (95% CI)
41.3 ± 8.2 195 (67.9) 35 (12.2) 55 (19.2) 18.5 ± 7.5 79 (27.5) 85 (29.6) 32 (11.1)
40.9 ± 7.1 195 (67.9) 42 (14.6) 48 (16.7) 16.7 ± 7.8 48 (16.7) 52 (18.1) 15 (5.2)
0.53 -- 0.26 0.51 0.005 0.003 0.002 0.01
0.86~1.66 -0.50~1.31 0.77~1.81 0.55~3.05 1.27~1.82 0.80~1.59 1.22~4.24
Age (yr) Women Smoking Alcohol Body mass index (kg/m2)* IBS* Anxiety* Depression*
Values are expressed as mean ± SD or n (%).* P