Introduction: Migraine prevalence is higher in fertile than in postmenopausal women. However, few literature data are available on the prevalence and characteristics of migraine after the menopause and on the effect of hormones in postmenopausal women with migraine.Methods: We performed a systematic literature review of studies available on Scopus and Web of Science from the beginning off indexing until October 18th, 2020. We included both randomized trials and observational studies.Results: We included 12 papers, six of which assessed the prevalence and characteristics of migraine in postmenopausal women, while the other six assessed the effect of hormones on migraine after the menopause. One of the studies was a randomized trial, while the remaining 11 were observational studies. Ten studies were clinic-based, while the remaining two were population-based. Studies assessing the prevalence and characteristics of migraine after the menopause reported inconsistent findings; in studies performed in headache clinics, likely affected by selection bias towards the most severe cases, a relevant proportion of women reported migraine worsening after the menopause. Studies assessing the effect of hormones on migraine after the menopause showed that postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy was invariably associated with migraine worsening, if containing estrogen.Conclusion: Our systematic review showed that migraine could be a relevant health problem in postmenopausal women, mostly in headache clinics. However, the available studies allow a limited assessment of the prevalence and characteristics of postmenopausal migraine. Further large studies are needed to better determine the burden of migraine after the menopause according to migraine characteristics and the impact of hormonal treatments.

Patterns of Migraine in Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review

Ornello, Raffaele;Caponnetto, Valeria;Sacco, Simona
2021

Abstract

Introduction: Migraine prevalence is higher in fertile than in postmenopausal women. However, few literature data are available on the prevalence and characteristics of migraine after the menopause and on the effect of hormones in postmenopausal women with migraine.Methods: We performed a systematic literature review of studies available on Scopus and Web of Science from the beginning off indexing until October 18th, 2020. We included both randomized trials and observational studies.Results: We included 12 papers, six of which assessed the prevalence and characteristics of migraine in postmenopausal women, while the other six assessed the effect of hormones on migraine after the menopause. One of the studies was a randomized trial, while the remaining 11 were observational studies. Ten studies were clinic-based, while the remaining two were population-based. Studies assessing the prevalence and characteristics of migraine after the menopause reported inconsistent findings; in studies performed in headache clinics, likely affected by selection bias towards the most severe cases, a relevant proportion of women reported migraine worsening after the menopause. Studies assessing the effect of hormones on migraine after the menopause showed that postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy was invariably associated with migraine worsening, if containing estrogen.Conclusion: Our systematic review showed that migraine could be a relevant health problem in postmenopausal women, mostly in headache clinics. However, the available studies allow a limited assessment of the prevalence and characteristics of postmenopausal migraine. Further large studies are needed to better determine the burden of migraine after the menopause according to migraine characteristics and the impact of hormonal treatments.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/164033
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