Obese Children Suffer More Often From Migraine

Acta Paediatr. 2012 Sep;101(9):e416-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02768.x.


Aim: To determine a possible relationship between migraine and body mass index.

Methods: Migraine shows a wide spectrum of comorbidities, including cardiocerebral, vascular, psychiatric, metabolic, neurological as well as other pathologies. Recent researches suggest that obesity was significantly correlated with migraine frequency and disability in children, as well as in adult population studies. We reviewed data from the literature to clarify this possible relationship.

Results: Translational and basic science research shows multiple areas of overlap between migraine pathophysiology and the central and peripheral pathways regulating feeding. Specifically, neurotransmittors such as serotonin, peptides such as orexin, and adipocytokines such as adiponectin and leptin have been suggested to have roles in both feeding and migraine. A relationship between migraine and body mass index exists, and therefore, interventions to modify body mass index may provide a useful treatment model for investigating whether modest weight loss reduces headache frequency and severity in obese migraineurs.

Conclusion: The effect of obesity and weight change on headache outcomes may have important implications for clinical care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / complications
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Depression / complications
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / physiology
  • Migraine Disorders / complications*
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Translational Medical Research


  • Interleukins
  • Neurotransmitter Agents