13 February 2009

Belly fat ups migraine risk

Being overweight may increase the risk of migraine headaches in young and middle-aged adults, suggests a US study that included 22 211 people.


Being overweight may increase the risk of migraine headaches in young and middle-aged adults, suggests a US study that included 22 211 people.

Age, gender and the way body fat was distributed affected migraine risk. People ages 20 to 55 who had larger waistlines were more likely to have migraines than those with smaller waistlines.

Migraine was reported by 37% of women in that age group who had excess abdominal fat, compared with 29% of those without abdominal obesity. Among men 20 to 55 years old, 20% of those with excess belly fat reported migraine, compared with 16% of those without it.

Among those older than 55, total body obesity wasn't associated with migraine in women or men. But the risk of migraine actually decreased among women older than 55 with large waistlines.

Excess belly-fat ups risk for obesity
The study is scheduled to be presented during the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting. "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," study author Dr B. Lee Peterlin, of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, said in an American Academy of Neurology news release.

"Men and women have body tissue distributed in different ways," Peterlin said. "After puberty, women show more fatty tissue deposits in the hip and thigh area, while men predominately have more fatty tissue in the belly region.

"After menopause, women show more fatty tissue in the belly area as well. For some diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, excess fat around the waistline appears to be a stronger risk factor than total body obesity." – (HealthDay News, February 2009)

Read more:
Belly fat boosts hunger
Belly fat triples stroke risk


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Dr Elliot Shevel is a South African migraine surgery pioneer and the founder and medical director of The Headache Clinic in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa. The Headache Clinic is a multidisciplinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of Primary Headaches and Migraines. Dr Shevel is also the main author of all scientific publications generated by his team. He recently won a high level science debate in which he was able to prove that the current migraine diagnosis and classification is not based on data. Tertiary Education - Dr Shevel holds both Dental and Medical degrees, and practises as a specialist Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeon. Follow the Headache Clinic on Twitter@HeadacheClinic.

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