Dietary patterns according to headache and migraine status: a cross-sectional study

Cephalalgia. 2015 Aug;35(9):767-75. doi: 10.1177/0333102414560634. Epub 2014 Nov 25.


Background: Several potential dietary trigger factors for migraine have been proposed. However, few studies have examined the intake pattern of these dietary items compared to adequate control populations and whether intake levels may vary by migraine aura status or attack frequency.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among participants in the Women's Health Study. We used logistic regression to evaluate the association between migraine and headache status and low intake of foods commonly reported to affect migraine.

Results: A total of 25,755 women reported no history of migraine or headache, 5573 reported non-migraine headache and 7042 reported any migraine. Those with non-migraine headache or any migraine were more likely to have low intake of total alcohol (OR = 1.22, 95% CI:1.14-1.29 and OR = 1.17, 95% CI:1.11-1.24, respectively). Migraineurs with aura were more likely to have low intake of chocolate, ice cream, hot dogs, and processed meats. Those who experience migraine at least once per week were more likely to have low intake of skim/low-fat milk and white and red wine.

Conclusion: Intake of most suggested migraine dietary triggers differs by migraine aura status and attack frequency, a pattern not found for non-migraine headache.

Keywords: Migraine; diet; epidemiology.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Headache / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic