Thicker Waistline Linked to Migraine Headache
Belly fat may increase the risk of migraine headache in people age twenty to fifty-five. Researchers have found a link between having a thicker waistline and migraine headache. Previous studies show that abdominal obesity can increase our risk of heart disease, and contribute to diabetes. The new findings suggest migraine headache might aslo be linked to abdominal obesity.
The study, due for presentation at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 to May 2, 2009, analyzed responses of 22,211 people who were asked to share whether they experience migraine or other types of severe headache.
The results showed that body composition, specifically belly fat, or a thicker waistline, was associated with migraine headaches. After age fifty-five, the risk of migraine was not at all associated with abdominal obesity. The risk of migraine in women with belly fat declined after age 55.
According to study author B. Lee Peterlin, DO, of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, "These results, while still in the early stages, suggest that losing weight in the stomach area may be beneficial for younger people who experience migraine and especially so for women."
The report showed that 37 percent of women who had excess fat around the belly reported migraine, compared to 29 percent without abdominal fat and a thicker waistline in the 20 to 55 year old age group. Twenty percent of men with belly fat report migraine versus sixteen percent who had small waistlines.
The current study suggests a thicker waistline is linked to increased incidence of migraine headache, especially in women. The results suggest that migraine sufferers might benefit from losing belly fat.
American Academy of Neurology