Migraines May Ease With Age
In Swedish Study, Most Patients' Attacks Decreased or Disappeared Over 12-Year Follow-Up
Whose Migraines Disappear?
"We don't know for sure," Dahlof says. Hereditary seemed to play a role, at least for the women in the study, with those having a family history more likely to continue to have attacks.
Early management of migraines by a specialist may be the driving force to making them disappear or improve over time, he says. "The risk of progression can be reduced by good management," he believes, although this study did not track the effect of good management. Dahlof credits in particular the improvements in migraine drug therapy in recent years, especially the use of the newer triptan drugs, which are taken at the start of the pain.
Another Expert Weighs In
The study reflects what one long-time headache specialist has observed in his patients. Migraine problems do tend to decrease with time, says Seymour Diamond, MD, founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic and executive chairman of the National Headache Foundation in Chicago.
"We find as people age they get fewer migraines," he says. "After age 50 or 55, they often decline. But in some people, they never do."
Migraine sufferers trying to reduce the chances their headaches will become more frequent can pay attention to other risk factors, other researchers suggested in a report published in 2006 in the journal Headache.
Among them: maintain a healthy body weight, avoid overuse of headache medication and caffeine, and get treatment for any sleep problems.
Living with migraines? Get support and advice from Indie Cooper-Guzman, RN, and other members on our Migraines message board.