Association between tinnitus and a history of migraines


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A group of researchers from Taiwan recently published an article on their findings concerning a potential link between the risk of cochlear disorders, especially tinnitus, and a history of migraines.

To carry out their study, the team examined claims data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. They identified 1,056 patients with migraines diagnosed between 1996 and 2012. A total of 4,224 controls were also identified from the same database. The incidence rate of cochlear disorders (tinnitus, sensorineural hearing impairment, and/or sudden deafness) was compared between the cohorts using classic statistical analysis methods.

Of the 1,056 identified patients with migraines, 672 were women and 384 were men. The mean age was 36.7 years. Results showed that compared with the non-migraine cohort, the crude hazard ratio for cochlear disorders in the migraine cohort was 2.83 (95% CI, 2.01-3.99), and the adjusted hazard ratio was 2.71 (95% CI, 1.86-3.93). In addition, the incidence of cochlear disorders was 81.4 (95% CI, 81.1-81.8) per 1 million person-years for the migraine cohort, and 29.4 (95% CI, 29.2-29.7) per 1 million person-years for the non-migraine cohort.

The authors conclude that the risk of cochlear disorders, especially tinnitus, was significantly higher among the cohort with a history of migraines. They believe this finding may support the concept of “cochlear migraine.”

Source: Hwang JH, et al. Association of Tinnitus and Other Cochlear Disorders With a History of Migraines. JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery. 2018 Jul 12.