Female hormones are thought to be of importance in the aetiology of migraine, which is more common in women than in men. Little attention has been paid to androgens. This study investigates the associations between migraine and serum levels of androgens in postmenopausal women not taking oestrogens. A case-control study was carried out among women participating in a mammography screening program. A neurologist clinically assessed the participants. Headache criteria proposed by the International Headache Society were used. Each of the 15 women with migraine was matched to three controls by time since menopause and by body mass index. Serum levels of androstenedione and total testosterone were measured by radioimmunoassays. Free testosterone was calculated from total testosterone, immunoassayed sex hormone-binding globulin and albumin. The mean±S.D. serum level of androstenedione was 2.7±1.1nmol/l and 3.4±1.9nmol/l in cases and controls respectively. The mean serum level of testosterone was 0.8±0.4nmol/l and 1.0±0.5nmol/l in cases and controls respectively. The mean serum level of free testosterone was 12.5±8.5pmol/l and 14.0±7.9pmol/l in cases and controls respectively. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to test for differences in serum levels of androstenedione, total testosterone and free testosterone between cases and controls. No statistically significant differences were found. To conclude, there was no evidence in this study that differences within normal levels of androgens play an important role in the aetiology of migraine in postmenopausal women not taking oestrogens.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.