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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Neurology 1/2019

The impact of C-reactive protein levels on headache frequency in the HUNT study 2006–2008

BMC Neurology > Ausgabe 1/2019
Knut Hagen, Lars Jacob Stovner, Kristian Bernhard Nilsen, Espen Saxhaug Kristoffersen, Bendik Slagsvold Winsvold
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Increased high sensitivity C- reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels have been found in many earlier studies on migraine, and recently also in persons with migraine and insomnia. The aim of this study was to see whether these findings could be reproduced in a large-scale population-based study.


A total of 50,807 (54%) out of 94,194 invited aged ≥20 years or older participated in the third wave of the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study study performed in 2006–2008. Among these, 38,807 (41%) had valid measures of hs-CRP and answered questions on headache and insomnia. Elevated hs-CRP was defined as > 3.0 mg/L. The cross-sectional association with headache was estimated by multivariate analyses using multiple logistic regression. The precision of the odds ratio (OR) was assessed with 95% confidence interval (CI).


In the fully adjusted model, elevated hs-CRP was associated with migraine (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04–1.25) and migraine with aura (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.03–1.29). The association was strongest among individuals with headache ≥15 days/month for any headache (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.08–1.48), migraine (OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.21–2.17), and migraine with aura (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.27–2.67). No clear relationship was found between elevated hs-CRP and headache less than 7 days/month or with insomnia.


Cross-sectional data from this large-scale population-based study showed that elevated hs-CRP was associated with headache ≥7 days/month, especially evident for migraine with aura.
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