Association and genetic overlap between clinical chemistry tests and migraine

The International Headache Genetics Consortium (IHGC)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: In this paper, we studied several serum clinical chemistry tests of cardiovascular disease (CVD), iron deficiency anemia, liver and kidney disorders in migraine. Methods: We first explored the association of 22 clinical chemistry tests with migraine risk in 697 migraine patients and 2722 controls. To validate and interpret association findings, cross-trait genetic analyses were conducted utilising genome-wide association study (GWAS) data comprising 23,986 to 452,264 individuals. Results: Significant associations with migraine risk were identified for biomarkers of CVD risk, iron deficiency and liver dysfunction (odds ratios = 0.86–1.21; 1 × 10 −4 < p < 3 × 10 −2). Results from cross-trait genetic analyses corroborate the significant biomarker associations and indicate their relationship with migraine is more consistent with biological pleiotropy than causality. For example, association and genetic overlap between a lower level of HDL-C and increased migraine risk are due to shared biology rather than a causal relationship. Furthermore, additional genetic analyses revealed shared genetics among migraine, the clinical chemistry tests, and heart problems and iron deficiency anemia, but not liver disease. Conclusions: These findings highlight common biological mechanisms underlying migraine, heart problems and iron deficiency anemia and provide support for their investigation in the development of novel therapeutic and dietary interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1208-1221
Number of pages14
Issue number11-12
Early online date15 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Biochemistry tests
  • Mendelian randomisation
  • SNP-based genetic overlap
  • gene-based genetic overlap
  • genetic correlation

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