How aware are migraineurs of their triggers?

Headache. 2013 May;53(5):834-7. doi: 10.1111/head.12083. Epub 2013 Mar 27.


Background: Broad discrepancies in the number of migraine triggers have been reported in several studies. Migraineurs do not seem to recognize easily headache triggers in clinical practice.

Objective: To evaluate how aware migraineurs are about their headache triggers.

Materials and methods: We recruited 120 consecutive migraineurs. Each patient was first asked to report spontaneously any migraine trigger. Subsequently, the patient selected from a list of commonly known triggers.

Results: Ninety-seven patients (72.5%) spontaneously reported at least 1 migraine trigger, and 120 patients (100%) reported at least 1 migraine trigger selecting from a specific list of precipitants. The mean number of spontaneously identified triggers was 1.5 (±1.5), and the total number of triggers identified was 7.20 (±3.9).

Conclusions: A relevant discrepancy between the number of spontaneously recognized triggers and the total number of triggers was found. This may suggest that migraineurs display poor awareness about headache triggers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Awareness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology*
  • Young Adult