Women who suffer with migraines are 26% less likely to develop the disease
Women who suffer with migraines are 26% less likely to develop breast cancer, researchers have found.
A study of 4,500 women found the link remained significant even when factors that are known to trigger migraines and are linked to breast cancer, such as alcohol and hormone replacement therapy, were taken into account.
The research was conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle and is published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Significantly the protective effect of migraines was true for women who have been through the menopause and those who had not.
Dr Christopher Li, a breast cancer epidemiologist said: ‘We were able to look at whether this association was seen among both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women.
‘In breast cancer this is relevant because there are certain risk factors that are different between older and younger women. In this study we saw the same reduction in breast cancer risk associated with a migraine history regardless of age.
‘We know that migraine is definitely related to hormones and that’s why we started looking at this in the first place. We have different ideas about what may be going on but it’s unclear exactly what the biological mechanisms are.’