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How Aware Are Migraineurs of Their Triggers?


  • Conflict of interest: In the past year, Ubaldo Bonuccelli has received fees for consultation from GSK and Eisai, and for speeches from Novartis, GSK and Lundbeck. The remaining authors report no conflict of interest.

Address all correspondence to F. Baldacci, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, Pisa, Italy



Broad discrepancies in the number of migraine triggers have been reported in several studies. Migraineurs do not seem to recognize easily headache triggers in clinical practice.


To evaluate how aware migraineurs are about their headache triggers.

Materials and methods

We recruited 120 consecutive migraineurs. Each patient was first asked to report spontaneously any migraine trigger. Subsequently, the patient selected from a list of commonly known triggers.


Ninety-seven patients (72.5%) spontaneously reported at least 1 migraine trigger, and 120 patients (100%) reported at least 1 migraine trigger selecting from a specific list of precipitants. The mean number of spontaneously identified triggers was 1.5 (±1.5), and the total number of triggers identified was 7.20 (±3.9).


A relevant discrepancy between the number of spontaneously recognized triggers and the total number of triggers was found. This may suggest that migraineurs display poor awareness about headache triggers.