According to background information in the study, between 11 and 40 people per 100,000 develop Bell’s palsy each year. Most of them recover completely.
Reporting in the Dec. 17 online edition of Neurology, Taiwanese researchers followed two groups of almost 137,000 adults — one group of migraine sufferers and another group without migraines — for an average of three years.
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During that time, 671 of the people in the migraine group developed Bell’s palsy, compared with 365 of the those in the non-migraine group.
Even after the researchers accounted for other factors, such as sex, high blood pressure and diabetes, the study found that people with migraines were twice as likely to develop Bell’s palsy than those without migraines.
“This is a very new association between migraine and Bell’s palsy,” Dr. Shuu-Jiun Wang, of the National Yang-Ming University and Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, said in a journal news release.