Body mass index, migraine, migraine frequency and migraine features in women

Authors

  • AC Winter,

    1. Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Münster, Münster, Germany,
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  • K Berger,

    1. Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Münster, Münster, Germany,
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  • JE Buring,

    1. Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Aging, Harvard Medical School,
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, and
    3. Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • T Kurth

    1. Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Aging, Harvard Medical School,
    2. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, and
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  • A.C.W. and T.K. performed the statistical analyses. T.K. had full data access and takes full responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Tobias Kurth, MD, ScD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Division of Preventive Medicine, 900 Commonwealth Ave East, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Tel. + 1-617-732-8355, fax + 1-617-731-3843, e-mail tkurth@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

We evaluated the association of body mass index (BMI) with migraine and migraine specifics in a cross-sectional study of 63 467 women aged ≥ 45 years, of whom 12 613 (19.9%) reported any history of migraine and 9195 had active migraine. Compared with women without migraine and a BMI < 23 kg/m2, women with a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 had adjusted odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence intervals) of 1.03 (0.95, 1.12) for any history of migraine. Findings were similar for active migraineurs. Women with a BMI of ≥ 35 kg/m2 had increased risk for low and high migraine frequency, with the highest estimate for women who reported daily migraine. Compared with women with the lowest associated risk (migraine frequency < 6 times/year; BMI between 27.0 and 29.9 kg/m2), women with a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 had an OR of daily migraine of 3.11 (1.12, 8.67). Among the women with active migraine, a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 was associated with increased risk of phonophobia and photophobia and decreased risk of a unilateral pain characteristic and migraine aura. Our data confirm previous findings that the association between BMI with migraine is limited to migraine frequency and specific migraine features.

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