Conference Coverage

Asthma hospitalization in kids linked with doubled migraine incidence



– U.S. children and teens who were hospitalized because of asthma had twice the rate of migraine headache when compared with a similar pediatric population without asthma. The finding is based on an analysis of more than 11 million U.S. pediatric hospitalizations over the course of a decade.

Dr. Riddhiben S. Patel, pediatric neurologist, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson

Dr. Riddhiben S. Patel

Among children and adolescents aged 3-21 years who were hospitalized for asthma, migraine rates were significantly higher among girls, adolescents, and whites, compared with boys, children aged 12 years or younger, and nonwhites, respectively, in a trio of adjusted analyses, Riddhiben S. Patel, MD, and associates reported in a poster at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society.

“Our hope is that, by establishing an association between childhood asthma and migraine, [these children] may be more easily screened for, diagnosed, and treated early by providers,” wrote Dr. Patel, a pediatric neurologist and headache specialist at the University of Mississippi, Jackson, and associates.

Their analysis used administrative billing data collected by the Kids’ Inpatient Database, maintained by the U.S. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The project includes a representative national sample of about 3 million pediatric hospital discharges every 3 years. The study used data from 11,483,103 hospitalizations of children and adolescents aged 3-21 years during 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012, and found an overall hospitalization rate of 0.8% billed for migraine. For patients also hospitalized with a billing code for asthma, the rate jumped to 1.36%, a 120% statistically significant relative increase in migraine hospitalizations after adjustment for baseline demographic differences, the researchers said.

Among the children and adolescents hospitalized with an asthma billing code, the relative rate of also having a billing code for migraine after adjustment was a statistically significant 80% higher in girls, compared with boys, a statistically significant 7% higher in adolescents, compared with children 12 years or younger, and was significantly reduced by a relative 45% rate in nonwhites, compared with whites.

The mechanisms behind these associations are not known, but could involve mast-cell degranulation, autonomic dysfunction, or shared genetic or environmental etiologic factors, the authors said.

Dr. Patel reported no relevant disclosures.

SOURCE: Patel RS et al. Headache. 2019 June;59[S1]:1-208, Abstract P78.

Next Article: