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Risk for Migraine Increased in Lightly Pigmented Adults

More than threefold increased risk for migraine seen for women and men with a low melanin index

TUESDAY, June 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The risk for migraine is increased in lightly pigmented adults, according to a study published online May 10 in Brain Sciences.

Magdalena Kobus, from the University of Lodz in Poland, and colleagues examined the potential association between skin pigmentation and migraine in 148 adults (33 men, 115 women) with migraine and 107 controls (43 men, 64 women). Parameters of skin pigmentation were measured.

The researchers observed an increased risk for migraine in lightly pigmented adults. The risk for migraine was increased more than threefold for individuals with a low melanin index (odds ratios, 3.53 and 3.73 in women and men, respectively). Fair phenotype, resulting from lightly pigmented skin, was associated with the prevalence of migraine.

“Our present study shows the problem from a public health perspective, because less immanent protection to ultraviolet radiation suggests that migraineurs should pay more attention to using sun-blocking products,” the authors write. “In addition to this, bright light is one of many triggers — as well as aggravating factors — of migraine attacks, so individuals with migraine are more susceptible and vulnerable to sunlight in two different ways.”

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