How Your Body Composition Defines Your Migraine Headache Risk

This will be surprising to many. There seems to be a strong link between body composition and migraine headaches. Overweight and underweight people have a higher risk to suffer from migraine headaches compared with those of normal weight.

Moreover, the link is strong. An increased migraine risk of 27% makes weight one of the most important risk factors. The risk increase for underweight people was with 13% still obvious.

Since the below released study was a huge meta-analysis with almost 300,000 individuals included, the findings are very reliable.

Therefore, everyone suffering from migraine headaches should take this in consideration and measure their body weight and BMI. Of course, obesity is also a major risk factor for many other diseases including tumor and stroke or heart attack – the most common causes of death. So, maintaining a normal body weight is generally advisable.

Why is this good news? There are many risk factors which cannot be influences, like genetic factors. Overweight is a risk factor that we can control. By diet and life style adjustments we can completely erase one of the biggest risk factors. Let’s do it!

Still researchers don’t exactly understand the patho-mechanism behind the link of body composition and migraine. Therefore, future research is needed.



Here the original abstract with more details:

Body composition status and the risk of migraine: A meta-analysis.


To evaluate the association between migraine and body composition status as estimated based on body mass index and WHO physical status categories.


Systematic electronic database searches were conducted for relevant studies. Two independent reviewers performed data extraction and quality appraisal. Odds ratios (OR) and confidence intervals (CI) were pooled using a random effects model. Significant values, weighted effect sizes, and tests of homogeneity of variance were calculated.


A total of 12 studies, encompassing data from 288,981 unique participants, were included. The age- and sex-adjusted pooled risk of migraine in those with obesity was increased by 27% compared with those of normal weight (odds ratio [OR] 1.27; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16-1.37, p < 0.001) and remained increased after multivariate adjustments. Although the age- and sex-adjusted pooled migraine risk was increased in overweight individuals (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.04, 1.12, p < 0.001), significance was lost after multivariate adjustments. The age- and sex-adjusted pooled risk of migraine in underweight individuals was marginally increased by 13% compared with those of normal weight (OR 1.13; 95% CI 1.02, 1.24, p < 0.001) and remained increased after multivariate adjustments.


The current body of evidence shows that the risk of migraine is increased in obese and underweight individuals. Studies are needed to confirm whether interventions that modify obesity status decrease the risk of migraine.

Published in Neurology, 2017 May 9

Source: Pub Med

Migraine Headache – German Neuroscience Center Dubai

Are you suffering from headaches? You are not alone! Headache is a widespread disease and one of the most common reasons to visit a neurologist. It occurs in different types and strengths and can impair the quality of living substantially. It is possible to do something against it.