Triptan use as a function of cardiovascular risk. A population-based study: Research submission

Marcelo E. Bigal, Wendy Golden, Dawn Buse, Ya Ting Chen, Richard B. Lipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Aim.-To estimate the proportion of individuals with migraine using triptan therapy as a function of their cardiovascular (CV) profile and disease severity. Methods.-As a part of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention study, we identified migraineurs representative of the U.S. adult population. Triptan use was estimated as a function of presence of CV disease (CVD), of CV risk factors, and by level of migraine-related disability. Results.-Our sample consists of 6102 individuals with migraine. Compared with migraineurs without risk factors for CVD, triptans were significantly less likely to be used in individuals with diabetes (11.5% vs 18.3%, OR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.5-0.7), hypertension (14.8%, OR = 0.8, 0.7-0.9) and by smokers (12.9%, OR = 0.7, 0.6-0.8). Similar findings were seen for individuals with established CVD. As contrasted to individuals without CVD, those with myocardial infarct (8.5% vs 18.5%, OR = 0.4, 0.3-0.7), stroke (7%, OR = 0.6, 0.3-0.9) and heart surgery (9.3%, OR = 0.5, 0.4-0.7) were less likely to use triptans. Use of triptan increased as a function of disability regardless of CVD status or presence of CV risk factors. Conclusion.-Triptan use is lower in those with vs without CV risk, suggesting that doctors and/or patients fear using triptans in individuals at risk to CVD. Furthermore, triptan use in those with established CVD increases with headache-related disability, suggesting that patients and providers balance risks and benefits. Additional and analytical data are needed on the safety of triptans in the setting of CVD risk. This study has not assessed adequacy of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-263
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Migraine
  • Triptan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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