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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • tension-type headache;
  • coffee;
  • alcohol;
  • smoking;
  • physical activity

(Headache 2010;50:1104-1114)

Background.— Diet and lifestyle are seen as factors which influence headache in adults. However, population-based studies on this issue in adolescents are rare.

Objective.— Aim of the present study was to investigate associations between diet and lifestyle factors and different types of headache, ie, migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) in adolescents.

Methods.— A total of 1260 adolescents from the 10th and 11th grades of high schools filled in questionnaires on intake of meals, coffee, nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks, smoking, and physical activity. Type of headache was classified according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders – 2nd edition. Multiple logistic regression models, adjusted for sex and grade, were calculated.

Results.— High consumption of cocktails (odds ratio = 3.4; 95% confidence interval 1.9-6.0) and coffee (2.4; 1.3-4.7), smoking (2.7; 1.4-5.1), and lack of physical activity (2.2; 1.3-3.7) were significantly associated with migraine plus TTH episodes, consumption of coffee and physical inactivity particularly with migraine (3.4; 1.6-7.0 and 4.2; 2.2-7.9, respectively) and physical inactivity with TTH (1.7; 1.1-2.7). Skipping of meals or insufficient fluid intake were not associated with any type of headache.

Conclusions.— Adolescents with any type of headache might benefit from regular physical activity and low consumption of alcoholic drinks, while for migraine patients a low consumption of coffee should additionally be recommended. Intervention studies are warranted to assess whether psycho-educational programs conferring knowledge of these associations will influence headache-triggering behavior and headache in adolescents.