Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sex differences in migraine headaches

What does the Michele Bachmann migraine story teach us about society? According to many feminists in the media, the predictable lesson to be learned is that we still have a sexism problem. But the much more interesting (and valid) story is that men and women really are different in fundamental ways. Research shows that, compared to men, women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines, and that the medical problem is roughly 50 percent heritable (meaning that half of the variation in the illness is explained by variation in genes).


  1. Migraines certainly can be heritable - but it is worth bearing in mind that migraine is frequently misdiagnosed - perhaps *especially* misdiagnosed in research trials (which have to recruit many subjects quickly - whether they exist or not).

    In my family all first degree relatives have true migraines - but all with different frequency patterns and severity - from pure visual symptoms through mixtures to pure pain, from once every few years for a few hours up to, well, me!

  2. How much can standard heritability estimates tell us about sex differences? Someone raised as a girl in a rich vs poor household is still raised as a girl. Boys with botched circumcisions raised as girls tell us more about what is innate. I recall Sailer referencing an engineering prof female-to-male transition who reported improved visuo-spatial abilities when taking testosterone. Do we know if that has any effects on migraines?

  3. This study shows consistently lower serum levels of androstenedione, testosterone, and free testosterone in female migraine cases compared to controls. The sample is very small, however, so the differences are not significant.

  4. Kathia11:20 AM

    Thanks for share this great article about sex differences in migraine headaches, I found this blog really interesting...

  5. Jessica11:27 AM

    Wow this study about this kind of health problem like migraine is really interesting, thanks for share with us...

    If you need some medication to treat migraine I can give you a list of excellent sites that provides excellent products for anything.


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