MIGRAINE AURA WITHOUT HEADACHE: PREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS IN A PRIMARY EYE CARE POPULATION

Joseph Fleming

Abstract

Although migraine headache has received substantial attention in the scientific literature, migraine aura without headache has been infrequently investigated. A general population survey study estimated the lifetime prevalence of migraine aura without headache to be 1% in males and 3% in females. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that migraine aura without headache is encountered by primary eye care practitioners more frequently than these rates suggest. This study is the first prospective investigation of this condition in a primary eye care population.

METHODS. A written questionnaire was used to survey 1,000 patients age 18 and older presenting for a comprehensive eye examination in the Primary Care Optometry Service of the School of Optometry, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Cases were identified by the presence of visual sensations consistent with migraine aura without headache.

RESULTS. Of the primary eye care population surveyed, 6.5% experienced visual sensations consistent with migraine aura without headache. The prevalence in males was 2.9% and that in females was 8.6%. A multivariate analysis revealed that female gender (odds ratio [OR]=2.3), history of migraine headaches (OR=3.2), and history of childhood motion sickness (OR=2.7) were significantly related to migraine aura without headache.

CONCLUSIONS. The prevalence of migraine aura without headache is higher in an adult primary eye care population than previously reported in general population studies. Further investigation is warranted to confirm the risk factors for this important clinical condition.

Details

Year: 1999

Program Number: Poster 77

Resource Type: Scientific Program

Author Affiliation: School of Optometry

Co-Authors: John Amos, Renee Desmond

Co-Author Affiliation: School of Optometry

Room: Hall 4C