Clinical features and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome in Migraine patients

Chunlin Li, Shengyuan Yu, Huiying Li, Jin Zhou, Jieqiong Liu, Wenjing Tang, Lei Zhang


Objective: Clinical and basic research increasingly suggests a correlation between migraine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In this study, we aimed to explore the clinical features and risk factors for IBS in migraine patients.

Methods: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study. A total of 1,112 consecutive patients from the internal medicine and emergency departments of three hospitals from June 2014 through 2016. A comprehensive interviewer-administered questionnaire was designed based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (beta version).

Results: The response rate was 94.6%. Among 1,052 participants, 287 suffered from migraine (27.3%) and 312 suffered from IBS (29.7%). A total of 79 patients suffered from both migraine and IBS (comorbidity rate: 7.5%). The migraine cohort exhibited a higher frequency of IBS than did the comparison cohort at baseline (P<0.05). Migraine patients with higher headache frequency, longer length of headache history, and anxiety disorders were more likely to also suffer from IBS (P=0.015). There were no significant differences between the two groups in age, sex, family history, duration of headache attack, migraine aura, headache intensity, or depression disorders (P>0.05). Multiple regression analysis indicated length of headache history and headache frequency were associated with IBS.

Conclusion: Migraine patients with a long headache history, recurrent episodic headache attacks, and anxiety were more likely to have IBS.


How to cite this:Li C, Yu S, Li H, Zhou J, Liu J, Tang W, Zhang L. Clinical features and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome in Migraine patients. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(3):720-725.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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