Have migraine? Bigger waistline may be linked

Feb 12, 2009

Overweight people who are between the ages of 20 and 55 may have a higher risk of experiencing migraine headaches, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 to May 2, 2009.

For the study, abdominal obesity was measured by waist circumference or the total size around the waist. Total body obesity was also measured. This was calculated using the body mass index, a measurement related to weight and height. Researchers looked at 22,211 people who were asked to report whether they suffered from either migraine or severe headaches.

The study found that age, gender and the way that body fat is distributed affected the risk of migraine. Those who were 20 to 55 years of age and who had larger waistlines were more likely to have migraine attacks, on average, than people of the same age who had smaller waistlines. About 37 percent of women between the ages of 20 who had excess fat around the belly reported migraine, compared to 29 percent without excess belly fat.

In men 20 to 55 years old, 20 percent of those with abdominal obesity reported migraine as compared to 16 percent of those without abdominal obesity. However in women 20 to 55 years of age with excess belly fat, the odds of migraine went up 1.3 times after adjusting for heart disease risk factors and for total body obesity.

After the age of 55, total body obesity was not associated with migraine in men or women. However, in women older than 55 years with large waistlines the odds of migraine actually decreased.

"These results, while still in the early stages, suggest that losing weight in the stomach area may be beneficial for younger people who experience migraine and especially so for women," said study author B. Lee Peterlin, DO, of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Men and women have body tissue distributed in different ways. After puberty women show more fatty tissue deposits in the hip and thigh area while men predominantly have more fatty tissue in the belly region. After menopause, women show more fatty tissue in the belly area as well. For some diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, excess fat around the waistline appears to be a stronger risk factor than total body obesity," Peterlin said.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Explore further: Fatigue, fear are daily lot of Ebola fighters: experts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Fatigue, fear are daily lot of Ebola fighters: experts

41 minutes ago

Doctors, nurses and hospital workers fighting the Ebola epidemic in west Africa are struggling with a daily burden of exhaustion, shortage of staff and fear for themselves over the deadly virus, specialists say.

Hong Kong makes Ebola 'contingency' measures

3 hours ago

Hong Kong said Wednesday it was quarantining all people from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia who were showing Ebola-like symptoms on arrival in the city, as fears grow worldwide about the spread of the deadly virus.

EU ready for Ebola threat: sources

6 hours ago

The European Union is equipped and ready to treat victims should the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds in West Africa, be found in member states, EU sources said Wednesday.

Reducing kidney injury using a quality improvement method

11 hours ago

Using quality improvement measures in eight of the 10 hospitals in the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group, researchers have found a way to reduce kidney injury in patients undergoing a procedure with ...

App for headache sufferers shows success

23 hours ago

A unique app that helps headache sufferers to record the severity and regularity of their pain is being used as part of a Griffith research study.

ACP expert discusses risks of biocontainment laboratories

Jul 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—The risks emanating from biocontainment laboratories should be prevented by implementation of appropriate safety policies and procedures, according to an editorial published online July 29 in ...

User comments : 0