The primary aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of cold-induced headache and to test if it is associated with migraine. Women attending a population-based mammography screening programme were asked to participate in the study. Fifty-one of 669 women (7.6%) experienced a headache after ingesting 150 ml of ice-cold water through a straw. Women who had experienced one or more migraine attacks in the last year (active migraine) were twice as likely to experience a headache from ingesting the cold water as women who had never suffered from migraine. Ninety-five women who had experienced their most recent migraine attack more than 1 year ago (inactive migraine) were not at increased risk. The prevalence of active and inactive migraine was 19.4 and 14.2%, respectively. Headache caused by drinking cold water is common in women. The results indicate that active migraine facilitates the perception of forehead pain induced by a cold palatal stimulus.