Being Overweight Linked to Migraines & Headaches

Findings released by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control in the journal Cephalalgia show that being overweight or underweight is associated with an increased frequency of migraines and other headaches.

Obesity May Raise Headache Risk

The researchers studied the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and occurrence of headaches or migraines among people over the age of 20 who participated in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey.

Of people reporting they had experienced severe headaches or migraines during the past three months, 35 percent were overweight and 30 percent were obese. Thirty-three percent fell into a normal BMI range.

The researchers said further investigation is needed to determine whether there is a cause and effect relationship between carrying extra weight and headaches or migraines.

A study published last year in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that having a high BMI was an exacerbating factor for migraine disease, but not other headache disorders: Body Mass Index & Migraines

Only 2 percent of respondents were underweight. While researchers found they experienced twice the number of headaches and migraines as average weight survey participants, the group was too small to allow much analysis.

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