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Osmophobia Prevalent in Patients With Migraine Headache

Last Updated: October 08, 2021.

FRIDAY, Oct. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Osmophobia is prevalent among patients with different migraine subtypes, and it also occurs in some patients with tension-type headaches, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in the Journal of Headache and Pain.

Marianna Delussi, from Aldo Moro University in Bari, Italy, and colleagues conducted an observational retrospective cohort study involving patients aged 18 to 65 years diagnosed as migraine without aura, migraine with aura, or chronic migraine; tension-type headache; and cluster headache. A subcohort of migraine patients who were prescribed preventive treatment were also selected and visited after a follow-up of three months.

Overall, 37.9 percent of patients reported osmophobia (444 patients with and 726 patients without osmophobia). The researchers found that patients with different migraine subtypes had osmophobia, while it was absent in patients with episodic tension-type headache and cluster headache. Patients with headache with osmophobia presented with a longer duration of headache, more severe anxiety, depression, allodynia, and intensity of headache. Patients with tension-type headache with osmophobia presented with more frequent headache and anxiety. After three months of treatment, 711 migraine patients were visited; patients with and without osmophobia had similar changes in main migraine features.

"While the present study confirmed prevalence of osmophobia in migraine patients, it also indicated its presence among chronic tension type headache cases, marking those with chronic headache and anxiety," the authors write.

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