Too many—or too few—pounds—could be a factor in migraine pathogenesis. Scroll through the slides for details.
What’s BMI, Age, and Gender Got to Do with it?
. Migraine risk is increased in both obese and underweight individuals, according to a new study.1
. Age and gender appear to be important covariates of this association.
>A look at the association between migraine and body composition
. A meta-analysis of 12 studies with 288,981 participants evaluated the association between migraine and body composition.
. In 2 studies, most of the participants were aged 50 or older. Other studies included mostly younger participants.
. In half of the studies Participants self-reported migraine in half the studies
. Participants self-reported their BMI in more than half the studies
Shed or gain a few lbs?
After adjustments for age and sex, obese people (BMI >30) were 27% more likely to have migraine than people of normal weight.
Those who were underweight (BMI <18.5) were 13% more likely to have migraine than people of normal weight.
Age- and sex-adjusted pooled migraine risk was increased in overweight people. This association was lost after adjustment.
. In underweight people, the age- and sex-adjusted pooled risk of migraine increased by 13% vs with normal weight people.
Adipose tissue a migraine trigger?
. Body composition could affect migraine through adipose tissue, which secretes a wide range of molecules that potentially play a role in developing or triggering migraine.
. Other factors could include changes in physical activity, medications, or conditions such as depression.
Clinical implications for your practice.
. Increased migraine risk is moderate, along the lines of the association of ischemic heart disease and bipolar disorders and body weight.
. Since both obesity and being underweight are potentially modifiable risk factors for migraine, clinicians should be more aware of the body weight of their migraine patients.
. More research is needed to determine whether losing or gaining weight lowers the risk for migraine.
1. Gelaye B, Sacco S, Brown WJ, et al. Body composition status and the risk of migraine. Neurology. 2017; 10.
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