According to new research conducted out of John Hopkins University School of Medicine, obese people are 81 percent more likely to suffer from episodic migraines compared to people of normal weight.
In the study published last week in the online edition of Neurology, researchers surveyed 3,862 people who provided information on their height, weight and frequency of migraines. The average age of the participants was 47.
Overall results showed that 1,044 respondents were obese and 188 people said they suffer from occasional or episodic migraines, defined as 14 or fewer headaches a month.
“These results suggest that doctors should promote healthy lifestyle choices for diet and exercise in people with episodic migraine,” said study author B. Lee Peterlin.
“More research is needed to evaluate whether weight loss programs can be helpful in overweight and obese people with episodic migraine.”
The latest study builds on previous research published in 2011 which found that exercise can be just as effective at preventing migraines as medication.
After putting a group of migraine patients under an exercise regime that involved 40-minute sessions three times a week, a team of Swedish researchers found that the number of migraines fell for both participants who exercised, and those who were put on a drug plan.
The 2011 study was published in the journal Cephalalgia.