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Keywords:

  • headache;
  • migraine;
  • use of dietary supplement;
  • sex difference

Purpose

To examine the prevalence of headache or migraine complaints and the use of dietary supplements, and to determine their correlation according to sex.

Methods

This population-based cross-sectional study used data from a 2005 National Health Interview Survey of 15,414 participants (age 18-65 years) in Taiwan. Prevalence of headache or migraine complaints was accessed by a single question on their occurrence during the previous 3 months. Dietary supplement use was evaluated by another single question. Data were stratified by sex and analyzed using independent t-test, chi-square test, and multivariate logistic regression.

Results

The prevalence of headache or migraine complaints was 17.2% in males and 32.4% in females. The percentage of women taking supplements was 31.8%, which was much higher than the 15.5% of men. In male supplement users, use of isoflavones had a significantly higher odds ratio (OR) of headache or migraine complaint compared with those of male without use of isoflavones (adjusted OR = 3.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.68-8.85). In females, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and green algae supplement use had higher likelihoods of headache or migraine complaint in comparison to those of female without use of supplements (adjusted OR = 1.28, 1.21, and 1.43; 95% CI = 1.05-1.57, 1.03-1.42, and 1.07-1.90, respectively).

Conclusions

This population-based study confirmed sex-specific associations between headache or migraine complaints and the use of dietary supplements, warranting further investigation of the underlying causes.