Next Article in Journal
Research on the Characteristics of Safety Culture and Obstacle Factors among Residents under the Influence of COVID-19 in China
Previous Article in Journal
Promising Sources of Plant-Derived Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: A Narrative Review
 
 
Order Article Reprints
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:
Background:
Article

Acupuncture Is Effective at Reducing the Risk of Stroke in Patients with Migraines: A Real-World, Large-Scale Cohort Study with 19-Years of Follow-Up

by 1,†, 1,†, 2,3, 4,5,6,7 and 4,8,*
1
Department of Post-Baccalaureate Veterinary Medicine, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
2
Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40201, Taiwan
3
College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
4
School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
5
Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
6
Division of Medical Genetics, China Medical University Children’s Hospital, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
7
Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
8
Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20031690
Received: 7 December 2022 / Revised: 9 January 2023 / Accepted: 15 January 2023 / Published: 17 January 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migraine: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment)

Abstract

:
Migraines are common headache disorders and risk factors for subsequent strokes. Acupuncture has been widely used in the treatment of migraines; however, few studies have examined whether its use reduces the risk of strokes in migraineurs. This study explored the long-term effects of acupuncture treatment on stroke risk in migraineurs using national real-world data. We collected new migraine patients from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2017. Using 1:1 propensity-score matching, we assigned patients to either an acupuncture or non-acupuncture cohort and followed up until the end of 2018. The incidence of stroke in the two cohorts was compared using the Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Each cohort was composed of 1354 newly diagnosed migraineurs with similar baseline characteristics. Compared with the non-acupuncture cohort, the acupuncture cohort had a significantly reduced risk of stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.4; 95% confidence interval, 0.35–0.46). The Kaplan–Meier model showed a significantly lower cumulative incidence of stroke in migraine patients who received acupuncture during the 19-year follow-up (log-rank test, p < 0.001). Acupuncture confers protective benefits on migraineurs by reducing the risk of stroke. Our results provide new insights for clinicians and public health experts.

1. Introduction

Migraines are common neurovascular disorders affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide and are the second most disabling disease globally [1,2]. In addition to the unbearable unilateral, throbbing headache, a migraine may also be accompanied by symptoms, such as nausea and/or vomiting or photophobia and/or phonophobia, which often seriously affect a person’s quality of work and life [3]. Currently, migraines are mainly treated with pharmacological therapy. The treatment goal is to relieve the pain symptoms of acute headaches, and reduce the frequency of attacks and rate of recurrence, thus enabling the patient’s return to normal work and life as quickly as possible [4]. However, some patients have poor tolerance to oral medications, and the unpleasant side effects and lower-than-expected efficacy of these medications may lead to low treatment compliance and other complications, causing some patients to choose acupuncture therapy [5].
Strokes, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. According to one survey, the global lifetime risk of a stroke at age 25 and older is about 25% in both men and women [6]. Even if a patient survives a stroke, he/she is usually left with some degree of neurological deficit, which often imposes a heavy life and financial burden on both patients and their caregivers.
There is growing evidence that migraines increase the risk of strokes. A migraine with aura is considered a risk factor for ischemic stroke, while high frequency and recent onset of migraine are also associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke [7]. A nationwide population-based study concluded that migraines are associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, especially in young (age ≤ 45 years) women with migraines with aura [8]. In another recent study, both a migraine without aura and a migraine with aura were associated with an increased risk of a stroke compared with non-migraineurs (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.49 and 1.63, respectively) [9]. However, there is currently no direct evidence to support that the preventive medication treatment recommended for use reduces future stroke attacks in migraineurs [7,10].
Acupuncture therapy is one of the main treatment techniques of traditional Chinese medicine. It has a history spanning more than 3000 years and is now widely used in countries all over the world. Acupuncture is considered to be an effective alternative therapy for migraines [11]. An overview of systematic reviews concluded that acupuncture leads to a higher reduction in the number of days with headaches and the use of pain medication, and is more effective at reducing headache frequency and severity, than the same parameters associated with Western medicine and sham acupuncture [12]. A randomized clinical trial concluded that acupuncture treatment was more efficient than sham acupuncture or no acupuncture treatment in reducing long-term recurrent migraine in patients with migraines without aura [13]. Furthermore, in one study, patients in the group receiving real acupuncture were significantly better at controlling pain levels and improving quality of life with chronic migraines than those in the sham acupuncture group [14]. Another study revealed that preventive acupuncture in patients with chronic migraine significantly reduced the average number of moderate/severe headache days per month compared with the change associated with topiramate treatment [15]. In addition, a growing number of clinical trials have shown that acupuncture, when used in stroke therapy, provides excellent complementary and alternative therapy for post-stroke rehabilitation; it also serves as a preventive strategy that induces cerebral ischemic tolerance [16,17,18,19]. Therefore, we investigated whether acupuncture could provide long-term protection against strokes in patients with migraines.
To date, there has been no large-scale real-world evidence to show whether acupuncture is beneficial in reducing the risk of subsequent strokes in migraineurs. Therefore, we conducted a cohort study using a national database to explore the relationship between acupuncture intervention and stroke development in patients with migraines.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Data Source

The study used the Longitudinal Generation Tracking Database 2005 (LGTD 2005) for a nationwide, population-based cohort analysis. The dataset contained all claims data from a random sample of 2,000,000 from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan. In LGTD 2005, in order to protect personal privacy, scrambled, anonymous identification numbers were used, and detailed medical information related to traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine was recorded, such as demographic characteristics, medical visits, doctor’s diagnosis, prescription drugs, surgical procedures, and medical expenditure from 2000 to 2018. The International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM) was used for the diagnosis codes. The Institutional Review Board of the China Medical University in central Taiwan (CMUH110-REC1-038(CR-1)) approved this study.

2.2. Study Population

We enrolled all participants newly diagnosed with migraines (ICD-9-CM: 346 or ICD-10-CM code: G43.109, G43.501, G43.509, G43.601, G43.609, G43.101, G43.111, G43.119, G43.511, G43.519, G43.611, G43.619, G43.009, G43.011, G43.019, G43.711, G43.719, G43.801, G43.809, G43.A0, G43.B0, G43.C0, G43.D0, G44.001, G44.009, G44.011, G44.019, G44.021, G44.029, G43.811, G43.819, G43.A1, G43.B1, G43.C1, G43.D1, G43.401, G43.409, G43.411, G43.419, G43.701, G43.709, G43.901, G43.909, G44.031, G44.039, G44.041, G44.049, G44.51, G43.911, G43.919), with at least two outpatients or hospitalizations from 1 January 2000, to 31 December 2018, in the LGTD 2005 (n = 123,691). Patients who received acupuncture after the new migraine diagnosis date were defined as acupuncture users, while the remaining patients were defined as acupuncture non-users. In addition, the date of receiving the first acupuncture treatment after the new diagnosis date of the migraine was defined as the index date for the acupuncture cohort. Regarding the index date for the acupuncture non-users, we randomly assigned a month and day to the same index year of the matched acupuncture cases. We excluded subjects aged < 20 years (n = 3540), index date after 31 December 2017 (n = 18,362), and those with a history of stroke (ICD-9-CM 430–438 or ICD-10-CM: I60-I69) before the index date (n = 9976). The 1:1 propensity score method by sex, age, urbanization level, occupation, monthly income, baseline comorbidities, and medication was used to match an equal number of patients in both cohorts. The research process is shown in Figure 1. The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of stroke (ICD-9-CM 430-438 or ICD-10-CM: I60-I69), as diagnosed by a nationally certified neurologist. The follow-up period in both cohorts started from the index date until diagnosis with stroke, death, withdrawal from the National Health Insurance (NHI) program, or the end of 2018. Baseline comorbidities were considered to exist, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, head injury, Parkinson’s disease, chronic kidney disease, and mental disorders. Medication usage was defined as the first prescribed medication after migraine and included triptans, ergots, acetaminophen, NSAIDs (including etoricoxib, celecoxib, and ibuprofen), propranolol, flunarizine, anti-epileptics (including valproic acid and topiramate), and amitriptyline. Patient medication usage was classified (into groups) as those taking 0–1, 2–3, or >3 medications, according to the accumulated number of medications prescribed throughout the follow-up.

2.3. Statistical Analysis

Differences in baseline characteristics between both groups were examined using the standardized mean difference (SMD). A standardized mean difference of 0.1 or less indicates a negligible difference. The incidence density rates of strokes were calculated for both acupuncture and non-acupuncture cohorts. Univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed to evaluate the hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for strokes. The Kaplan–Meier method was used to estimate the differences in the cumulative incidence of strokes between the two cohorts by the log-rank test. A p-value of less than 0.05 indicated statistical significance. All statistical analyses and figures were performed using SAS software, version 9.4 (SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC, USA), and survival curves were drawn using R software (R version 4.2.0).

3. Results

The study randomly selected 1354 patients in the acupuncture and non-acupuncture cohorts using the 1:1 propensity score-matching method. Table 1 presents the baseline characteristics of both cohorts. In terms of sex, age, urbanization level, occupation, income, baseline comorbidities, and medication use, there were no significant differences between the cohorts. The ratio of females to males was about 7:3. Regarding the age subgroups, the highest proportion of migraine sufferers in both groups was in the 40–59 age group, with a mean age of about 47 years. The most common baseline comorbidities in both groups were mental disorders (44%), followed by hypertension (25%), and hyperlipidemia (14%). Most migraine sufferers (52%) took two to three different medications. The average follow-up time for stroke was 13.77 years in the acupuncture cohort and 9.71 years in the non-acupuncture cohort.
Table 2 shows the crude and adjusted HRs for stroke and covariates in migraineurs. Among patients with migraines, 387 patients (20.76 per 1000 person-years) who received acupuncture and 636 patients (48.38 per 1000 person-years) who did not receive acupuncture had strokes during the follow-up. In a Cox proportional hazards model, after adjusting for sex, age, urbanization level, occupation, income, baseline comorbidities, and medication use, migraineurs receiving acupuncture had a significantly lower risk of strokes than acupuncture non-users (aHR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.35–0.46). There was no significant difference in the risk of stroke development between males and females with migraines (males vs. females: aHR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.88–1.17). Among patients with migraines, the risk of a stroke exhibited a dose-dependent increase with advancing age (aHR, 2.55; 95% CI, 2.1–3.09 for patients aged 40–59 years vs. 20–39 years; aHR, 4.93; 95% CI, 4–6.09 for patients aged >59 years vs. 20–39 years). Hypertension, coronary artery disease, head injury, Parkinson’s disease, and mental disorders were baseline comorbidities that increased the risk of a stroke. Patients with migraines who took more medications had a dose-dependent lower risk of a stroke (aHR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.15–0.21 for 2–3 medications vs. 0–1 medication; aHR, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.09–0.13 for >3 medications vs. 0–1 medication).
Table 3 displays the incidence rates and HRs of strokes in acupuncture users compared to acupuncture non-users stratified by sex, age, urbanization level, occupation, income, baseline comorbidities, and medication use. The beneficial effect of receiving acupuncture treatment on stroke incidence was observed in both female and male migraine patients (aHR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.32–0.43 for females; aHR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.25–0.41 for males). Acupuncture reduced the risk of strokes in patients in all age groups and in patients who did or did not have baseline comorbidities. Patients in the acupuncture cohort using any drug doses were less likely to have strokes than those in the non-acupuncture cohort.
We further compared the incidence rate of stroke for ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. The results in Table 4 show that, compared with non-acupuncture patients, patients who received acupuncture had a lower risk of these types of strokes.
Figure 2 shows that—using the Kaplan–Meier analysis—the cumulative incidence of strokes in patients with migraines was significantly lower in the acupuncture users than in the acupuncture non-users during the 19-year follow-up period (log-rank test, p < 0.001).

4. Discussion

Our study attempted to use a large real-world dataset with long-term follow-up to determine whether acupuncture treatment could significantly reduce the risk of stroke development in migraineurs. The results of the study found that acupuncture treatment reduces the risk of strokes in patients with migraines by approximately 60%, showing that this treatment method has a good protective effect against strokes.
The Taiwanese government started creating the country’s NHI program in 1995 to cover the entire public insurance system. At present, NHI coverage reaches more than 99% of the 23 million residents of Taiwan. The NHI program includes both Western and traditional Chinese medicine and provides representative and empirical health insurance data for use in research [20,21]. The Central Health Insurance Bureau has been building the NHIRD since 1998 and has provided value-added services for its data to facilitate related medical and public health research since 2000. The NHIRD provides a large population sample: real-world evidence that can eliminate bias from limited sample sizes. In addition, the database presents a long-term follow-up window of more than 10 years, which makes it easier for researchers to study the development of chronic diseases and the risk of related diseases. In Taiwan, traditional Chinese medicine treatment, which includes acupuncture, is only performed by qualified traditional Chinese medicine doctors after complete training and national certification. In clinical practice, this modality is completely complementary to modern medicine and ensures that patients are provided with the most suitable diagnoses and treatments. The relevant treatment records are included in the NHIRD. Therefore, we consider this database to be a trustworthy research tool from which we developed unbiased real-world evidence for our study.
We found no difference in stroke risk between women and men. This appears to contradict many previous studies on migraines and strokes, which reported a predominance of stroke risks in women [10,22]. We speculate that several reasons are behind this. Most studies report that female migraine patients are more prone to ischemic strokes than their male counterparts, but the relationship with hemorrhagic stroke remains controversial [23,24,25,26]. However, our study evaluated all types of strokes, which might have influenced our results. The prevalence of migraines in men is approximately one-third that of women, and the association with strokes is more uncertain in men than in women [27], especially in our limited paired sample. In addition, we did not include migraine-free male and female populations with strokes for comparison, which might also have led to different results. However, acupuncture was associated with reduced stroke risk in both male and female patients with migraines. Patients with migraines in the present study who were aged 40–59 years and >59 years had a higher risk of strokes than younger populations, suggesting that the risk of a stroke increases with increasing age. This finding is similar in general populations without migraines [28,29], indicating that aging may be a pivotal factor that increases the incidence of strokes in the migraine population. We found that acupuncture significantly reduced the risk of strokes in all age groups of patients with migraines and that patients of older ages had a higher risk of strokes. Thus, we infer that acupuncture treatment offers a very good and substantial protective benefit to older patients with migraines.
In our study, among the listed comorbidities that were associated with migraines, hypertension, coronary artery disease, head injury, Parkinson’s disease, and mental disorders were independently found to significantly increase the risk of stroke. Hypertension is the most common risk factor for stroke, high blood pressure can increase the risk of strokes by four times, and routine blood pressure management is very important [30,31]. Previous studies have shown that a substantial proportion of stroke patients have preclinical coronary artery disease and that there is a clear relationship between cerebral and coronary atherosclerosis, both in terms of location and burden [32]. A meta-analysis showed that traumatic brain injury was an independent risk factor for strokes, regardless of the severity or type of trauma [33]. A nationwide cohort study found that the head injury group had a significantly higher stroke risk than the control group (adjusted HR 1.65). Moreover, in the head injury group, the cumulative incidences of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes were higher than those in the control group (8.9% vs. 5.8% and 2.7% vs. 1.6%, respectively), indicating that a head injury is an independent risk factor for ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes [34]. Similarly, another study calculated an HR of 2.37 for strokes in the Parkinson’s disease group compared with the non-Parkinson’s disease group during 3 years of follow-up, indicating that patients with Parkinson’s disease have a significantly increased risk of ischemic stroke [35]. A meta-analysis of 17 prospective studies involving 206,641 participants showed a significant positive association between depression and the subsequent risk of a stroke after adjusting for potential confounders [36]. Additionally, in a systematic review and meta-analysis of eight studies including 950,759 patients, researchers observed a 24% increased stroke risk in people with anxiety disorders compared to the general population [37]. We found that acupuncture could potentially reduce the incidence of stroke in patients with these underlying comorbidities. Many clinical and experimental studies have been published that show the benefits of acupuncture treatment for treating hypertension [38,39], coronary artery disease [40,41], head injury [42,43], Parkinson’s disease [44,45], and mental disorders [46,47]. Since the above-mentioned potential comorbidities of migraines increase the risk of strokes, and acupuncture shows an independent benefit for patients with these comorbidities, we can consider acupuncture as a treatment that can reduce the risk of strokes in patients with migraines, perhaps by aiding in the control of any accompanying comorbidities. Moreover, while no existing preventive medication for migraines reduces future strokes, our study found that participants who took more medications for migraines had a lower risk of stroke. This result deserves further clarification and may be related to the fact that patients who took more medication, either because they experienced more pain or because they had less control, were likely to return more often for medical advice and to make more aggressive changes to their diets and lifestyles. The habit of taking care of the body in this way may prevent strokes and other cerebrovascular diseases. Nevertheless, we determined that regardless of the quantity of migraine medication taken, it has a positive effect on stroke prevention when combined with acupuncture.
Although the mechanisms by which migraines increase the risk of strokes are not fully understood, several associated pathological mechanisms have been discovered. One study suggested that migraines may directly cause migraine infarction by inducing cerebral microcirculatory vasoconstriction, cerebral large vessel spasms, and vascular endothelial-related hypercoagulability [48]. Another study mentioned that the hypoperfusion of the brain that occurs during a migraine attack can lead to electrical abnormalities that cause a phenomenon called “spreading depression”, which can lead to strokes [49]. Acupuncture treatment has been proven beneficial in the clinical treatment of migraines [50,51], and in effectively reducing stroke risks in patients with depression [18], and fibromyalgia [52]. Since migraines and strokes are heterogeneous cerebrovascular diseases with common mechanisms, it is reasonable to hypothesize that when acupuncture is used to treat patients with migraines, it would be beneficial in reducing the risk of a stroke.
Our present study clearly illustrates that acupuncture complements modern medical treatment to bring about a reduced incidence of stroke development in patients with migraines. The question then arises of how acupuncture is able to achieve such an effect. In the future, more basic experiments should be conducted to clarify the mechanism of action of acupuncture to support our clinical data.
Our study had several limitations. (1) The effect of acupuncture treatment on the risk of strokes in migraine patients of different degrees was not explored. Quantifications of actual severity and frequency of headache attacks in migraineurs were not recorded in the NHIRD medical records. However, the subcategories of migraine ICD codes, such as refractory migraine, non-refractory migraine, episodic migraine, and chronic migraine, could guide further research on this topic. In addition, we did not clarify the association between the number, frequency, timing, and duration of acupuncture treatment in patients with migraines and the risk of a stroke. Future studies could examine the differences in the risk of strokes among patients receiving acupuncture for the first time versus those who have tried other medications, or compare the stroke risk of patients with acupuncture–refractory migraines versus the stroke risk of patients with non-refractory migraines. Furthermore, aura is a clear risk factor for strokes in migraineurs [7]. We did not divide patients with migraines into subgroups with and without aura. Therefore, studies including larger datasets are necessary to test whether acupuncture leads to an overestimation of stroke risk reduction due to the selection bias resulting from using it more in migraineurs without aura than in those with aura. (2) In addition to the listed comorbidities associated with migraines affecting the risk of a stroke in this study, some factors deserve special consideration. The lifestyle and behavior patterns of migraine patients are also important factors affecting the risk of a stroke. For example, smoking and oral contraceptive pill use are known major contributors to the high risk of strokes in migraineurs [24,53]. However, we did not include these as comorbid factors that could have affected the outcome. The association of these behaviors with seeking acupuncture treatment also remains unclear. The Taiwan Biobank is a large biomedical research database that has collected rich lifestyle factors and genetic variant data from more than 130,000 participants and can be linked with the NHIRD [54,55]. Further analysis on this basis is warranted in the future. (3) In Taiwan, acupuncture treatments provided by a small number of traditional Chinese medicine doctors are self-paid and, therefore, not covered by the NHI. If patients sought these services, bias may have been introduced in our data analysis. (4) Clinical indicators are very important for evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture. Unfortunately, since the acupoints are not recorded in the database, it is impossible to analyze the correlation between the choice of acupoints in patients with migraines and the risk of stroke. Although a number of systematic reviews have reported the benefits of acupuncture for migraines, many of the studies were considered to be of low or critically low quality based on the assessment of multiple systematic review (AMSTAR) criteria [56]. We believe that rigorous large-scale prospective clinical trials should be conducted in the future. In addition, further animal experiments are needed to elucidate the mechanism through which acupuncture achieves its efficacy.

5. Conclusions

This 19-year-long retrospective study showed that migraineurs who received acupuncture treatment had significantly lower stroke risks, after adjustment for covariates, compared with migraineurs who did not receive acupuncture treatment. These findings support the benefit of using appropriate acupuncture treatment in patients with migraines to prevent long-term stroke risk. These results may help inform clinicians and public health policymakers.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, C.-C.L. and J.-M.L.; methodology, C.-H.C. and F.-J.T.; software, Y.-H.S.; validation, Y.-H.S.; formal analysis, C.-C.L. and Y.-H.S.; investigation, F.-J.T.; resources, F.-J.T.; writing—original draft, C.-C.L. and C.-H.C.; writing—review and editing, J.-M.L.; Supervision, J.-M.L.; project administration, F.-J.T. and J.-M.L. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Funding

This study is supported in part by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 111-2321-B-039-005), China Medical University Hospital (DMR-111-105). No additional external funding was received for this study.

Institutional Review Board Statement

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the China Medical University in central Taiwan (CMUH110-REC1-038(CR-1), 10 February 2022).

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

The data in this study are available to other researchers upon request.

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the Health Data Science Center, China Medical University Hospital for providing administrative, technical, and funding support.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection, and analysis, the decision to publish, or the preparation of the manuscript.

References

  1. Ashina, M.; Katsarava, Z.; Do, T.P.; Buse, D.C.; Pozo-Rosich, P.; Özge, A.; Krymchantowski, A.V.; Lebedeva, E.R.; Ravishankar, K.; Yu, S.; et al. Migraine: Epidemiology and systems of care. Lancet 2021, 397, 1485–1495. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. Burch, R.C.; Buse, D.C.; Lipton, R.B. Migraine: Epidemiology, Burden, and Comorbidity. Neurol. Clin. 2019, 37, 631–649. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. Goadsby, P.J.; Holland, P.R. An Update: Pathophysiology of Migraine. Neurol. Clin. 2019, 37, 651–671. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. Antonaci, F.; Ghiotto, N.; Wu, S.; Pucci, E.; Costa, A. Recent advances in migraine therapy. Springerplus 2016, 5, 637. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. Puledda, F.; Shields, K. Non-Pharmacological Approaches for Migraine. Neurotherapeutics 2018, 15, 336–345. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  6. Feigin, V.L.; Nguyen, G.; Cercy, K.; Johnson, C.O.; Alam, T.; Parmar, P.G.; Abajobir, A.A.; Abate, K.H.; Abd-Allah, F.; Abejie, A.N.; et al. Global, Regional, and Country-Specific Lifetime Risks of Stroke, 1990 and 2016. N. Engl. J. Med. 2018, 379, 2429–2437. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  7. Sacco, S.; Kurth, T. Migraine and the risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease. Curr. Cardiol. Rep. 2014, 16, 524. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  8. Peng, K.P.; Chen, Y.T.; Fuh, J.L.; Tang, C.H.; Wang, S.J. Migraine and incidence of ischemic stroke: A nationwide population-based study. Cephalalgia 2017, 37, 327–335. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  9. Siao, W.Z.; Su, C.H.; Kuan, Y.H.; Tsai, T.H.; Huan, K.H.; Lee, C.Y. Risk of peripheral artery disease and stroke in migraineurs with or without aura: A nationwide population-based cohort study. Int. J. Med. Sci. 2022, 19, 1163–1172. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  10. Øie, L.R.; Kurth, T.; Gulati, S.; Dodick, D.W. Migraine and risk of stroke. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry 2020, 91, 593–604. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  11. Supasiri, T.; Jariengprasert, C.; Phithaksilp, M.; Sangtongpanichakul, P.; Anotayanonth, S.; Buranatawonsom, T.; Pongpirul, K. A randomized controlled clinical trial comparing different numbers of acupuncture sessions for migraine. Acupunct. Med. 2022, 40, 215–223. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  12. Li, Y.X.; Xiao, X.L.; Zhong, D.L.; Luo, L.J.; Yang, H.; Zhou, J.; He, M.X.; Shi, L.H.; Li, J.; Zheng, H.; et al. Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Migraine: An Overview of Systematic Reviews. Pain Res. Manag. 2020, 2020, 3825617. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  13. Zhao, L.; Chen, J.; Li, Y.; Sun, X.; Chang, X.; Zheng, H.; Gong, B.; Huang, Y.; Yang, M.; Wu, X.; et al. The Long-term Effect of Acupuncture for Migraine Prophylaxis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern. Med. 2017, 177, 508–515. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  14. Mayrink, W.C.; Garcia, J.B.S.; Dos Santos, A.M.; Nunes, J.; Mendonça, T.H.N. Effectiveness of Acupuncture as Auxiliary Treatment for Chronic Headache. J. Acupunct. Meridian Stud. 2018, 11, 296–302. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  15. Liu, L.; Zhao, L.P.; Zhang, C.S.; Zeng, L.; Wang, K.; Zhao, J.; Wang, L.; Jing, X.; Li, B. Acupuncture as prophylaxis for chronic migraine: A protocol for a single-blinded, double-dummy randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2018, 8, e020653. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  16. Yang, A.; Wu, H.M.; Tang, J.L.; Xu, L.; Yang, M.; Liu, G.J. Acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 2016, 2016, Cd004131. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  17. Li, L.; Zhu, W.; Lin, G.; Chen, C.; Tang, D.; Lin, S.; Weng, X.; Xie, L.; Lu, L.; Li, W. Effects of Acupuncture in Ischemic Stroke Rehabilitation: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Front. Neurol. 2022, 13, 897078. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  18. Chen, L.Y.; Yen, H.R.; Sun, M.F.; Lin, C.L.; Chiang, J.H.; Lee, Y.C. Acupuncture treatment is associated with a decreased risk of developing stroke in patients with depression: A propensity-score matched cohort study. J. Affect. Disord. 2019, 250, 298–306. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  19. Li, X.; Wang, Q. Acupuncture therapy for stroke patients. Int. Rev. Neurobiol. 2013, 111, 159–179. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  20. Wu, T.Y.; Majeed, A.; Kuo, K.N. An overview of the healthcare system in Taiwan. Lond. J. Prim. Care 2010, 3, 115–119. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  21. Lee, P.C.; Kao, F.Y.; Liang, F.W.; Lee, Y.C.; Li, S.T.; Lu, T.H. Existing Data Sources in Clinical Epidemiology: The Taiwan National Health Insurance Laboratory Databases. Clin. Epidemiol. 2021, 13, 175–181. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. Etminan, M.; Takkouche, B.; Isorna, F.C.; Samii, A. Risk of ischaemic stroke in people with migraine: Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ 2005, 330, 63. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. Tietjen, G.E.; Maly, E.F. Migraine and Ischemic Stroke in Women. A Narrative Review. Headache 2020, 60, 843–863. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  24. Sacco, S.; Merki-Feld, G.S.; Ægidius, K.L.; Bitzer, J.; Canonico, M.; Kurth, T.; Lampl, C.; Lidegaard, Ø.; Anne MacGregor, E.; MaassenVanDenBrink, A.; et al. Hormonal contraceptives and risk of ischemic stroke in women with migraine: A consensus statement from the European Headache Federation (EHF) and the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC). J. Headache Pain 2017, 18, 108, Erratum in J. Headache Pain 2018, 19, 81. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. Hu, X.; Zhou, Y.; Zhao, H.; Peng, C. Migraine and the risk of stroke: An updated meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Neurol. Sci. 2017, 38, 33–40. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. Gaist, D.; González-Pérez, A.; Ashina, M.; Rodríguez, L.A. Migraine and risk of hemorrhagic stroke: A study based on data from general practice. J. Headache Pain 2014, 15, 74. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  27. Schürks, M.; Rist, P.M.; Bigal, M.E.; Buring, J.E.; Lipton, R.B.; Kurth, T. Migraine and cardiovascular disease: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2009, 339, b3914. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  28. Wu, C.Y.; Wu, H.M.; Lee, J.D.; Weng, H.H. Stroke risk factors and subtypes in different age groups: A hospital-based study. Neurol. India 2010, 58, 863–868. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  29. Kelly-Hayes, M. Influence of age and health behaviors on stroke risk: Lessons from longitudinal studies. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 2010, 58 (Suppl. 2), S325–S328. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  30. Wajngarten, M.; Silva, G.S. Hypertension and Stroke: Update on Treatment. Eur. Cardiol. 2019, 14, 111–115. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  31. Arboix, A. Cardiovascular risk factors for acute stroke: Risk profiles in the different subtypes of ischemic stroke. World J. Clin. Cases 2015, 3, 418–429. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  32. Yoo, J.; Yang, J.H.; Choi, B.W.; Kim, Y.D.; Nam, H.S.; Choi, H.Y.; Cho, H.J.; Lee, H.S.; Cha, M.J.; Choi, D.; et al. The frequency and risk of preclinical coronary artery disease detected using multichannel cardiac computed tomography in patients with ischemic stroke. Cerebrovasc. Dis. 2012, 33, 286–294. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  33. Turner, G.M.; McMullan, C.; Aiyegbusi, O.L.; Bem, D.; Marshall, T.; Calvert, M.; Mant, J.; Belli, A. Stroke risk following traumatic brain injury: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Int. J. Stroke 2021, 16, 370–384. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  34. Liu, S.W.; Huang, L.C.; Chung, W.F.; Chang, H.K.; Wu, J.C.; Chen, L.F.; Chen, Y.C.; Huang, W.C.; Cheng, H.; Lo, S.S. Increased Risk of Stroke in Patients of Concussion: A Nationwide Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 230. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  35. Huang, Y.P.; Chen, L.S.; Yen, M.F.; Fann, C.Y.; Chiu, Y.H.; Chen, H.H.; Pan, S.L. Parkinson’s disease is related to an increased risk of ischemic stroke-a population-based propensity score-matched follow-up study. PLoS ONE 2013, 8, e68314. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  36. Dong, J.Y.; Zhang, Y.H.; Tong, J.; Qin, L.Q. Depression and risk of stroke: A meta-analysis of prospective studies. Stroke 2012, 43, 32–37. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  37. Pérez-Piñar, M.; Ayerbe, L.; González, E.; Mathur, R.; Foguet-Boreu, Q.; Ayis, S. Anxiety disorders and risk of stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur. Psychiatry 2017, 41, 102–108. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  38. Zhao, X.F.; Hu, H.T.; Li, J.S.; Shang, H.C.; Zheng, H.Z.; Niu, J.F.; Shi, X.M.; Wang, S. Is Acupuncture Effective for Hypertension? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 2015, 10, e0127019. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  39. Li, J.; Sun, M.; Ye, J.; Li, Y.; Jin, R.; Zheng, H.; Liang, F. The Mechanism of Acupuncture in Treating Essential Hypertension: A Narrative Review. Int. J. Hypertens. 2019, 2019, 8676490. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  40. Meng, J. The effects of acupuncture in treatment of coronary heart diseases. J. Tradit. Chin. Med. 2004, 24, 16–19. [Google Scholar]
  41. Huang, X.; Guo, S.; Li, F.; Tan, X.; Cai, Q.; Wang, H.; Chen, P.; Wang, G.; Ma, X. Acupuncture as an Adjunctive Treatment for Angina Due to Coronary Artery Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Med. Sci. Monit. 2019, 25, 1263–1274. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  42. Tan, L.; Zeng, L.; Wang, N.; Deng, M.; Chen, Y.; Ma, T.; Zhang, L.; Xu, Z. Acupuncture to Promote Recovery of Disorder of Consciousness after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evid. Based. Complement. Alternat. Med. 2019, 2019, 5190515. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  43. Cavalli, L.; Briscese, L.; Cavalli, T.; Andre, P.; Carboncini, M.C. Role of Acupuncture in the Management of Severe Acquired Brain Injuries (sABIs). Evid. Based. Complement. Alternat. Med. 2018, 2018, 8107508. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  44. Lee, S.H.; Lim, S. Clinical effectiveness of acupuncture on Parkinson disease: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine 2017, 96, e5836. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  45. Zhao, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Qin, S.; Fan, W.; Li, W.; Liu, J.; Wang, S.; Xu, Z.; Zhao, M. Acupuncture for Parkinson’s Disease: Efficacy Evaluation and Mechanisms in the Dopaminergic Neural Circuit. Neural Plast. 2021, 2021, 9926445. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  46. Bai, L.; Zhang, D.; Cui, T.T.; Li, J.F.; Gao, Y.Y.; Wang, N.Y.; Jia, P.L.; Zhang, H.Y.; Sun, Z.R.; Zou, W.; et al. Mechanisms Underlying the Antidepressant Effect of Acupuncture via the CaMK Signaling Pathway. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 2020, 14, 563698. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  47. Amorim, D.; Amado, J.; Brito, I.; Fiuza, S.M.; Amorim, N.; Costeira, C.; Machado, J. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for anxiety disorders: A systematic review of the clinical research. Complement. Ther. Clin. Pract. 2018, 31, 31–37. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  48. Pezzini, A.; Del Zotto, E.; Giossi, A.; Volonghi, I.; Grassi, M.; Padovani, A. The migraine-ischemic stroke connection: Potential pathogenic mechanisms. Curr. Mol. Med. 2009, 9, 215–226. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  49. Hassan, M.; Belavadi, R.; Gudigopuram, S.V.R.; Raguthu, C.C.; Gajjela, H.; Kela, I.; Kakarala, C.L.; Modi, S.; Sange, I. Migraine and Stroke: In Search of Shared Pathways, Mechanisms, and Risk Factors. Cureus 2021, 13, e20202. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  50. Molsberger, A. The role of acupuncture in the treatment of migraine. CMAJ 2012, 184, 391–392. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  51. Urits, I.; Patel, M.; Putz, M.E.; Monteferrante, N.R.; Nguyen, D.; An, D.; Cornett, E.M.; Hasoon, J.; Kaye, A.D.; Viswanath, O. Acupuncture and Its Role in the Treatment of Migraine Headaches. Neurol. Ther. 2020, 9, 375–394. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  52. Huang, M.C.; Yen, H.R.; Lin, C.L.; Lee, Y.C.; Sun, M.F.; Wu, M.Y. Acupuncture decreased the risk of stroke among patients with fibromyalgia in Taiwan: A nationwide matched cohort study. PLoS ONE 2020, 15, e0239703. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  53. Zhang, Y.; Parikh, A.; Qian, S. Migraine and stroke. Stroke Vasc. Neurol. 2017, 2, 160–167. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  54. Lin, J.C.; Hsiao, W.W.; Fan, C.T. Transformation of the Taiwan Biobank 3.0: Vertical and horizontal integration. J. Transl. Med. 2020, 18, 304. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  55. Lin, W.Y. Lifestyle Factors and Genetic Variants on 2 Biological Age Measures: Evidence From 94 443 Taiwan Biobank Participants. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 2022, 77, 1189–1198. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  56. Lu, T.T.; Lu, C.C.; Li, M.X.; Ke, L.X.; Cai, H.; Yang, K.H. Reporting and methodological quality of meta-analyses of acupuncture for patients with migraine: A methodological investigation with evidence map. J. Integr. Med. 2022, 20, 213–220. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
Figure 1. Study flowchart. LGTD 2005: Longitudinal Generation Tracking Database 2005.
Figure 1. Study flowchart. LGTD 2005: Longitudinal Generation Tracking Database 2005.
Ijerph 20 01690 g001
Figure 2. Cumulative incidence of strokes in the acupuncture and non-acupuncture cohorts.
Figure 2. Cumulative incidence of strokes in the acupuncture and non-acupuncture cohorts.
Ijerph 20 01690 g002
Table 1. Characteristics of new migraine patients who did or did not receive acupuncture.
Table 1. Characteristics of new migraine patients who did or did not receive acupuncture.
Migraine without AcupunctureMigraine with Acupuncture
N = 1354N = 1354
Characteristicn%n%SMD
Sex
 female96771.4299273.260.041
 male38728.5836226.740.041
Age, year
 20–3942831.6144032.500.019
 40–5958242.9865148.080.102
 >5934425.4126319.420.144
 mean, (SD)48.2515.4446.6714.240.107
Urbanization level
 Low77457.1678057.610.009
 Medium46434.2746334.200.002
 High1168.571118.200.013
Occupation
 Office worker56241.5159744.090.052
 Laborer58142.9156441.650.025
 Others &21115.5819314.250.037
Income
 <20,000 95070.1692568.320.04
 20,000–39,99929021.4232223.780.057
 >39,9991148.421077.900.019
Comorbidities
 Diabetes mellitus1108.121017.460.025
 Hypertension 37227.4733424.670.064
 Hyperlipidemia 18513.6618313.520.004
 Coronary artery disease17412.8515511.450.043
 Head injury392.88443.250.021
 Parkinson’s disease80.59110.810.027
 Chronic kidney disease705.17594.360.038
 Mental disorders 60344.5359243.720.016
Medication
 0–115911.7414310.560.038
 2–370351.9270952.360.009
 >349236.3450237.080.015
 Mean follow-up years, (SD)9.717.4113.776.010.602
Chi-square test; t-test. SMD: standardized mean difference. A standardized mean difference of 0.1 or less indicates a negligible difference. New Taiwan Dollar (NTD), 1 NTD is equal to 0.03 USD. The urbanization level was divided by the population density of the residential area into 3 levels, where level 1 was the most urbanized and level 3 was the least urbanized. & Other occupation categories included those who were primarily retired, unemployed, and low-income populations.
Table 2. Hazard ratios (HRs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of strokes with covariates among patients with migraines in multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.
Table 2. Hazard ratios (HRs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of strokes with covariates among patients with migraines in multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.
Stroke
VariablesnPYIRcHR(95% CI)aHR (95% CI)
Migraine without acupuncture63613,14548.381.00(Reference)1.00(Reference)
Migraine with acupuncture38718,64420.760.47(0.41, 0.53) ***0.4(0.35, 0.46) ***
Sex
 female72123,76730.341.00(Reference)1.00(Reference)
 male302802237.651.2(1.05, 1.37) **1.02(0.88, 1.17)
Age, year
 20–3914712,95011.351.00(Reference)1.00(Reference)
 40–5947814,87532.132.65(2.2, 3.18) ***2.55(2.1, 3.09) ***
 >593983964100.416.71(5.54, 8.12) ***4.93(4, 6.09) ***
Urbanization level
 Low57718,62730.981.00(Reference)1.00(Reference)
 Medium36210,57334.241.08(0.95, 1.23)1.03(0.9, 1.18)
 High84258932.441.03(0.82, 1.3)0.91(0.72, 1.14)
Occupation
 Office worker34315,43322.231.00(Reference)1.00(Reference)
 Laborer51112,07642.321.77(1.54, 2.03) ***1.32(1.1, 1.58) **
 Others &169428039.491.67(1.39, 2.01) ***1.26(1, 1.58) *
Income #
 <20,000 75221,05735.711.00(Reference)1.00(Reference)
 20,000–39,999196803724.390.71(0.61, 0.84) ***1(0.82, 1.21)
 >39,99975269427.840.8(0.63, 1.01)0.8(0.6, 1.06)
Comorbidities
 Diabetes mellitus115173566.271.88(1.55, 2.28) ***1.14(0.93, 1.41)
 Hypertension 409600868.072.48(2.18, 2.81) ***1.4(1.22, 1.61) ***
 Hyperlipidemia 194365353.111.67(1.43, 1.95) ***1.09(0.92, 1.3)
 Coronary artery disease199259076.832.32(1.98, 2.71) ***1.32(1.11, 1.56) **
 Head injury3783244.481.32(0.95, 1.83)1.66(1.19, 2.31) **
 Parkinson’s disease15104144.253.5(2.1, 5.83) ***3.34(1.98, 5.62) ***
 Chronic kidney disease66107561.421.71(1.33, 2.19) ***1.06(0.82, 1.37)
 Mental disorders 52513,12440.001.43(1.27, 1.62) ***1.47(1.29, 1.68) ***
Medication
 0–12141524140.451.00(Reference)1.00(Reference)
 2–352216,41231.810.26(0.22, 0.3) ***0.18(0.15, 0.21) ***
 >328713,85420.720.17(0.15, 0.21) ***0.11(0.09, 0.13) ***
PY: person-years; IR: incidence rate per 1000 person-years; cHR: crude hazard ratio; aHR: adjusted hazard ratio; adjusted by sex, age, urbanization level, occupation, income, comorbidities, and medication; *: p-value < 0.05; ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001 # New Taiwan Dollar (NTD), 1 NTD is equal to 0.03 USD. The urbanization level was divided by the population density of the residential area into 3 levels, in which level 1 was the most urbanized and level 3 was the least urbanized. & Other occupation categories included those who were primarily retired, unemployed, and low-income populations.
Table 3. Incidence rates, hazard ratios (HRs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of strokes for migraine patients who did and did not receive acupuncture treatment in different stratifications.
Table 3. Incidence rates, hazard ratios (HRs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of strokes for migraine patients who did and did not receive acupuncture treatment in different stratifications.
Migraine without AcupunctureMigraine with Acupuncture
VariablesNPYIRnPYIRcHR(95% CI)p-ValueaHR (95% CI)p-Value
Sex
 female450978945.9727113,97919.390.46(0.39, 0.53) ***<0.0010.37(0.32, 0.43) ***<0.001
 male186335655.42116466524.870.5(0.4, 0.63) ***<0.0010.32(0.25, 0.41) ***<0.001
Age, year
 20–3994589815.945370527.520.49(0.35, 0.69) ***<0.0010.32(0.22, 0.46) ***<0.001
 40–59295563552.35183924019.810.41(0.34, 0.5) ***<0.0010.35(0.29, 0.42) ***<0.001
 >592471612153.26151235264.200.5(0.41, 0.62) ***<0.0010.37(0.3, 0.46) ***<0.001
Urbanization level
 Low368774747.5020910,88019.210.44(0.37, 0.53) ***<0.0010.33(0.28, 0.39) ***<0.001
 Medium218428050.93144629322.880.49(0.4, 0.61) ***<0.0010.38(0.3, 0.47) ***<0.001
 High50111844.7334147123.110.57(0.37, 0.88) *0.01130.84(0.52, 1.33)0.4496
Occupation
 Office worker214644233.22129899114.350.46(0.37, 0.58) ***<0.0010.3(0.23, 0.38) ***<0.001
 Laborer315490764.20196716927.340.47(0.4, 0.57) ***<0.0010.42(0.35, 0.51) ***<0.001
 Others &107179759.5562248324.970.47(0.35, 0.65) ***<0.0010.36(0.26, 0.51) ***<0.001
Income #
 <20,000 471869254.1928112,36522.730.47(0.4, 0.54) ***<0.0010.36(0.31, 0.43) ***<0.001
 20,000–39,999117328535.6279475216.620.5(0.37, 0.66) ***<0.0010.34(0.25, 0.47) ***<0.001
 >39,99948116841.1027152717.690.48(0.3, 0.76) **0.00210.29(0.16, 0.52) ***<0.001
Comorbidities
 Diabetes mellitus
  No56612,52045.2134217,53419.500.47(0.41, 0.54) ***<0.0010.37(0.32, 0.43) ***<0.001
  Yes70625111.9145111040.550.43(0.29, 0.62) ***<0.0010.26(0.16, 0.4) ***<0.001
 Hypertension
  No37710,91834.5323714,86315.950.49(0.42, 0.58) ***<0.0010.39(0.33, 0.46) ***<0.001
  Yes2592227116.28150378139.670.41(0.34, 0.5) ***<0.0010.3(0.24, 0.37) ***<0.001
 Hyperlipidemia
  No52311,73944.5530616,39718.660.46(0.4, 0.53) ***<0.0010.34(0.3, 0.4) ***<0.001
  Yes113140680.3681224736.050.51(0.38, 0.68) ***<0.0010.39(0.29, 0.54) ***<0.001
 Coronary artery disease
  No52012,05443.1430417,14517.730.45(0.39, 0.52) ***<0.0010.35(0.3, 0.41) ***<0.001
  Yes1161091106.3283149955.360.59(0.45, 0.79) ***<0.0010.39(0.29, 0.53) ***<0.001
 Head injury
  No61112,87547.4637518,08220.740.48(0.42, 0.54) ***<0.0010.37(0.32, 0.42) ***<0.001
  Yes2527092.581256221.360.29(0.15, 0.58) ***<0.0010.12(0.04, 0.41) ***<0.001
 Parkinson’s disease
  No62813,13147.8338018,55520.480.47(0.41, 0.53) ***<0.0010.37(0.32, 0.42) ***<0.001
  Yes815548.0178978.310.33(0.12, 0.92) *0.03360(0, 0)0.9997
 Chronic kidney disease
  No59612,70146.9336118,01420.040.47(0.41, 0.53) ***<0.0010.37(0.32, 0.42) ***<0.001
  Yes4044490.002663041.260.53(0.32, 0.87) *0.0120.32(0.17, 0.59) ***<0.001
 Mental disorders
  No325761542.6817311,04915.660.4(0.34, 0.49) ***<0.0010.3(0.24, 0.36) ***<0.001
  Yes311553056.24214759428.180.55(0.46, 0.65) ***<0.0010.44(0.37, 0.52) ***<0.001
 Medication
  0–1137371368.7977115266.830.32(0.24, 0.43) ***<0.0010.35(0.26, 0.47) ***<0.001
  2–3344642553.54178998617.820.37(0.31, 0.45) ***<0.0010.38(0.31, 0.45) ***<0.001
  >3155634824.42132750517.590.72(0.57, 0.91) **0.00640.57(0.45, 0.73) ***<0.001
PY: person-years; IR: incidence rate per 1000 person-years; cHR: crude hazard ratio; aHR: adjusted hazard ratio; adjusted by sex, age, urbanization level, occupation, income, comorbidities, and medication; *: p-value < 0.05; ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001. # New Taiwan Dollar (NTD), 1 NTD is equal to 0.03 USD. The urbanization level was divided by the population density of the residential area into 3 levels, in which level 1 was the most urbanized and level 3 was the least urbanized. & Other occupation categories included those who were primarily retired, unemployed, and low-income populations.
Table 4. Incidence rates, hazard ratios, and confidence intervals of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes in patients with migraines who did and did not receive acupuncture treatment.
Table 4. Incidence rates, hazard ratios, and confidence intervals of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes in patients with migraines who did and did not receive acupuncture treatment.
Migraine without AcupunctureMigraine with Acupuncture
VariablesnPYIRnPYIRcHR(95% CI)p-ValueaHR (95% CI)p-Value
 Ischemic stroke62113,22746.9537918,65620.320.47(0.42, 0.54) ***<0.0010.41(0.36, 0.46) ***<0.001
 Hemorrhagic stroke7313,4215.444618,7932.450.46(0.32, 0.67) ***<0.0010.36(0.25, 0.53) ***<0.001
PY: person-years; IR: incidence rate per 1000 person-years; cHR: crude hazard ratio; aHR: adjusted hazard ratio; djusted by sex, age, urbanization level, occupation, income, comorbidities, and medication; *** p < 0.001.
Disclaimer/Publisher’s Note: The statements, opinions and data contained in all publications are solely those of the individual author(s) and contributor(s) and not of MDPI and/or the editor(s). MDPI and/or the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to people or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Liao, C.-C.; Chien, C.-H.; Shih, Y.-H.; Tsai, F.-J.; Li, J.-M. Acupuncture Is Effective at Reducing the Risk of Stroke in Patients with Migraines: A Real-World, Large-Scale Cohort Study with 19-Years of Follow-Up. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20, 1690. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20031690

AMA Style

Liao C-C, Chien C-H, Shih Y-H, Tsai F-J, Li J-M. Acupuncture Is Effective at Reducing the Risk of Stroke in Patients with Migraines: A Real-World, Large-Scale Cohort Study with 19-Years of Follow-Up. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2023; 20(3):1690. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20031690

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liao, Chung-Chih, Chi-Hsien Chien, Ying-Hsiu Shih, Fuu-Jen Tsai, and Jung-Miao Li. 2023. "Acupuncture Is Effective at Reducing the Risk of Stroke in Patients with Migraines: A Real-World, Large-Scale Cohort Study with 19-Years of Follow-Up" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 20, no. 3: 1690. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20031690

Note that from the first issue of 2016, this journal uses article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop