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Alcohol use and smoking are associated with headaches in high schoolers
Date:6/6/2010

A novel study by German researchers reported that alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking were associated with increased migraines and tension-type headaches (TTH) in high school students. Coffee drinking and physical inactivity were associated specifically with migraines. Results of this study, the first to investigate modifiable risk factors for different types of headaches in a youth population, appear online early in Headache, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Headache Society.

Prior studies have indicated that headache is one of the most frequently reported health complaints in adolescents with 5%-15% of this age group suffering from migraine and 15%-25% with TTH. Modifiable risk factors, such as alcohol use, cigarette smoking and coffee drinking which have been associated with headache in adults, have not been fully explored in a youth population.

Astrid Milde-Busch, Ph.D. and colleagues at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany invited 1,260 students in grades 10 and 11 (aged 14-20) from eleven area public schools to participate in the study. The students were asked to fill out a questionnaire on headache and associated lifestyle factors. Students were asked: 'Did you have headache during the last seven days/three months/six months?' and were classified as headache sufferers if the response was positive. Furthermore, migraine and TTH were differentiated by questions regarding headache characteristics and symptoms. The questionnaire also inquired about diet and lifestyle (e.g. 'Do you daily have breakfast before you go to school?'; 'How much beer, wine and cocktails do you normally drink?'; 'How much coffee do you normally drink?'; 'Do you smoke?').

Research results show 83.1% of students reported headache at least once during the previous six months with 10.2% reporting migraine; 48.7% citing TTH; and 19.8% having combined migraine plus TTH. For diet, 28.4% of students ne
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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