Excess Caffeine May Be a Trigger for Episodic Migraine Headaches

Three or more servings of caffeinated beverages associated with higher odds for headache that day

FRIDAY, Aug. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of caffeinated beverage intake may be a trigger for migraine headache on that day among adults with episodic migraines, according to a study published Aug. 8 in the American Journal of Medicine.

Elizabeth Mostofsky, Sc.D., from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues evaluated the role of caffeinated beverage intake as a potential trigger for migraine headaches using data from 98 participants (mean age, 35.1 years) with episodic migraine who completed at least six weeks of diaries (March 2016 to October 2017).

Participants reported 825 migraines over 4,467 days of observation. The researchers observed a significant, nonlinear association between the number of caffeinated beverages and the odds of migraine headache occurrence on that day. There was variance in the associations by habitual intake and oral contraceptive use. One or two servings of caffeinated beverages were not associated with headaches on that day, while three servings may be associated with higher odds of headaches, even after adjusting for daily alcohol intake, stress, sleep, activity, and menstrual bleeding. There was a similar pattern for associations between caffeinated beverages and headaches on the following day.

"Additional research is needed to examine the potential effect of caffeine on symptom onset in the subsequent hours and the interplay of sleep, caffeine, anxiety, environmental factors, and migraine," the authors write.

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