, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 55-61,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Dec 2010

Migraine and sleep apnea in the general population


Objective is to investigate the relationship between migraine and obstructive sleep apnea in the general population. A cross-sectional population-based study. A random age and gender stratified sample of 40,000 persons aged 20–80 years residing in Akershus, Hedmark or Oppland County, Norway, were drawn by the National Population Register. A postal questionnaire containing the Berlin Questionnaire was used to classify respondents to be of either high or low risk of obstructive sleep apnea. 376 persons with high risk and 157 persons with low risk of sleep apnea aged 30–65 years were included for further investigations. They underwent an extensive clinical interview, a physical and a neurological examination by physicians, and in-hospital polysomnography. Those with apnea hypopnoea index (AHI) ≥5 were classified with obstructive sleep apnea. Migraine without aura (MO) and migraine with aura (MA) was diagnosed according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders. MO and MA occurred in 12.5 and 6.8% of the participants with obstructive sleep apnea. The logistic regression analyses showed no relationship between the two types of migraine and obstructive sleep apnea, with adjusted odds ratios for MO 1.15 (0.65–2.06) and MA 1.15 (0.95–2.39). Further, estimates using cutoff of moderate (AHI ≥ 15) and severe (AHI ≥ 30) obstructive sleep apnea, did not reveal any significant relationship between migraine and the AHI. Migraine and obstructive sleep apnea are unrelated in the general population.