Weighing in on Migraines

Girls who suffer migraines more likely to gain extra 22 pounds as adults

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Girls who suffer with migraines are more likely than their peers to gain extra weight during adulthood, according to new research.

A total of four out of ten women with childhood migraines gained at least 22 pounds since the age of 18 compared to three in ten women without the crippling migraines.

Study leader Michelle A. Williams, who helped analyze data on more than 3,700 women who were also involved in a separate pregnancy study, said it is possible that weight and migraines may fuel each other in some way. Researchers asked the participants whether each woman had ever been told by her doctor that she had suffered a migraine and asked for each woman's weight and height at age 18 and just before she got pregnant.

About one in six women had been diagnosed with migraine, and about one in four obese women suffered with the condition. Williams said, based on the study, severely obese women have about double the risk of developing migraine.

Migraines cost about $20 billion dollars annually in lost productivity and medical costs.

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Review Date: 
March 2, 2011
Last Updated:
March 3, 2011