(HealthDay News) – Obesity increases the risk of episodic migraines, according to a study presented at the 2013 International Headache Congress, held from June 27–30 in Boston.

B. Lee Peterlin, DO, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,862 black and white adults participating in the National Comorbidity Survey Replicated. Episodic migraine was defined as individuals with migraine who experience ≤14 headache days per month (≤168 headache days per year), while chronic migraine was defined as ≥15 headache days per month (≥180 headache days per year).

The researchers found that mean body mass index was greater in those with episodic migraine vs. controls (27.8 vs. 27.1kg/m²; P=0.05). The odds of episodic migraine in general were increased by 81% in obese people, while the odds of lower-frequency episodic migraine increased by 83 to 89%. The risk of episodic migraine in those with obesity was greatest in those under 50 years of age, white individuals, and women.

“The risk of migraine in those with obesity extends to episodic migraineurs, even those with low frequencies,” Peterlin said in a statement.

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