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Meta-Analysis Looks at Weight and Migraine Risk

Posted On: 04-14-2017
Meta-Analysis Looks at Weight and Migraine Risk
A meta-analysis performed at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and published in the journal Neurology, found that there is a higher risk of migraine in patients who are either underweight or obese.

Dr. B. Lee Peterlin, the study’s corresponding author and the director of headache research at Johns Hopkins, indicated that both migraine sufferers and doctors need to pay attention to the evidence that indicates that a healthy weight can reduce migraine risk.

The researchers looked at 12 previously published studies that consisted of nearly 300,000 participants and determined that those who were obese were 27 percent more likely to experience migraines than those of a normal weight. Those who were underweight were 13 percent more likely. The standard definitions of obesity according to the body mass index chart were used.

Additionally, the study affirmed earlier research findings that the link between migraines and obesity was greater for women and those who were under the age of 55 years.

It’s unknown why body weight seems to affect migraine risk, but it could be related to blood flow and/or the relation that changing fat tissue has with production of hormones and proteins in the body.

Migraines affect approximately 12 percent of adults in the United States, and often consist of nausea, sensitivity to sounds and light, and a throbbing sensation.

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