Frequent Migraines And Headaches Related To Higher Stress Levels [Study]

Do you suffer from headaches or migraines frequently? Are you stressed out? The two are related, according to the latest study.

The common assumption that the two conditions are related has been proven true by scientists in the latest health study related to the long-held assumption that those who are stressed suffer from frequent headaches or migraines.

Researchers studied data from 5,519 participants between the ages of 21 and 71, and concluded that an increased level of stress, led to a higher number of headaches and migraines those being observed suffered each month.

The latest study's findings were announced during the American Academy of Neurology's Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

In the research, which was part of the German Headache Consortium Study, participants were asked to record their stress level and the number of headaches or migraines they suffered from quarterly, between 2010 and 2012.

Of those participating, 31 percent suffered from tension-type headaches, 14 percent had migraines, while 11 percent had migraine combined with tension-type headaches.

Those with tension-type headaches rated their stress level at an average of 52 out of a possible 100, while those with migraines rated it at 62 out of 100, and the ones with migraine and tension-type headaches rated at 59 out of 100.

Study author Dr. Sara H. Schramm, of University Hospital at University Duisburg-Essen in Germany, wrote in an email to

"Tension-type headache (TTH) and migraine are the most common primary headache disorders, affecting up to 80 percent of the general population— that's why we choose to look at both."
Not surprisingly, the data shows that an increase in the individual's stress levels, leads to an increase in the number of headaches or migraines each person suffered during a month.

The study shows that an increase of 10 stress points was associated with a 6.3 percent headache increase for people with TTH, 4.3 percent increase with migraines and 4 percent increase for those with migraine and tension headache.

It's hard to believe, but this is the first study to look at how stress affects the frequency of headaches and migraines Schramm added:

"To the best of our knowledge, prospective population-based studies evaluating the effect of stress on headache frequency, with regard to particular subtypes of primary headaches, have not been performed until now. In a prospective study we can confirm … what we always hear from our patients"
The study emphasizes the importance of stress management for those who suffer from tension-type headaches or migraines several times a month.

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