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Obesity as a Marker of Headache Impact
D. Marcus
Posted: March 2003  
Headache Quarterly 2002; 13.3:32

Immunological abnormalities, including increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines, have also been reported in migraine. Recently, obesity has been directly linked to increases in these same pro-inflammatory cytokines. This study looks for a relationship between obesity and headache impact.

Sixty-one headache patients (49 female, 12 male; average age 41.4 years) were divided into three groups: normal weight, overweight, and obese. Gender, racial and social demographics were similar among the three groups. Each group was evaluated for headache impact using the validated Headache Impact Test score, pain severity, psychological distress, and quality-of-life. Headache impact was significantly higher in obese patients. Obesity is related to headache impact. Reproduction of these data with larger sample sizes may suggest that evaluation and treatment of obesity may be an important part of chronic headache management.