Motor Vehicle Crashes Increased in Year After Incident Migraine Among Seniors

Prevalent migraine not associated with MVCs in subsequent two years but is linked to small reductions in driving days
Motor Vehicle Crashes Increased in Year After Incident Migraine Among Seniors
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, Jan. 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) is increased in the year after incident migraine, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Carolyn G. DiGuiseppi, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and colleagues examined the associations of migraine with MVCs and driving habits in older drivers in a multisite prospective cohort study of active drivers aged 65 to 79 years. Prevalent migraine, incident migraine, and medications typically used for migraine were assessed.

Overall, 12.5 percent of the 2,589 drivers reported prevalent migraine and 1.3 percent reported incident migraine. The researchers found none of the models showed significant interactions between migraine and medications. There was no association for prevalent migraine with MVCs in the subsequent two years, but incident migraine was associated with significantly increased odds of having an MVC within one year. In adjusted models, associations were seen for prevalent migraine with small reductions in driving days and trips per month and increases in hard breaking.

"These results suggest stable, long-standing, or past history of migraine has relatively little impact on driving safety," the authors write. "However, odds of crashes were significantly increased in the year following newly reported migraine, indicating a potential need for driving safety intervention and improved clinical management in this population."

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