Association Between Headaches and Tinnitus in Young Adults: Cross-Sectional Study


  • Conflict of Interest: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at and declare: no support from any organization for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous 3 years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

  • Funding: The i-Share project is supported by the French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR), grant number [ANR-10-COHO-05]. This particular study was funded by a grant of the Future Investments program in the framework of the IdEx University of Bordeaux program (HEADS program), grant number [ANR-10-IDEX- 03-02].



To study the association between migraine and tinnitus in a large, cross-sectional study among students.


Tinnitus has been associated with various pain syndromes, including headaches. However, prior studies were mainly conducted among elderly adults.


Cross-sectional study among 5729 participants of the French internet-based Students Health Research Enterprise (i-Share) cohort. Health, personal and lifestyle habits, and socio-demographics characteristics as well as headache/migraine symptoms and tinnitus, were recorded in a standardized questionnaire based on self-reports. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between the students’ headache status and tinnitus.


The 5729 participants had a mean age of 20.8 years (standard deviation 2.8 years), 75.4% were female, and 1645 reported migraine. An association was found between the students’ headache status and tinnitus after adjustment for confounding variables. Tinnitus was reported by 8.9% of participants with migraine, 7.3% of patients with migraine without aura, and 10.8% of participants with migraine with aura. The adjusted odds ratios of tinnitus were 1.77 (95% confidence interval, 1.36–2.30) for migraine and 1.38 (0.98–1.92) for non-migraine headache. The association was stronger for students with migraine with aura (odds ratio = 2.10, 95% confidence interval 1.54–2.86) than for migraine without aura (odds ratio = 1.51, 95% confidence interval 1.09–2.07).


We found an association between migraine and tinnitus among young individuals, which was strongest for the subgroup migraine with aura.