Vitamin D deficiency in patients with cluster headache: a preliminary study

J Headache Pain. 2018 Jul 17;19(1):54. doi: 10.1186/s10194-018-0886-7.


Background: Cluster headache is famous for attacks with seasonal and diurnal periodicity. This diurnal and seasonal variation might be related to sunlight and vitamin D metabolism. We investigated the serum vitamin D levels in patients with cluster headache.

Methods: We enrolled patients with cluster headache and age- and sex-matched migraineurs and normal controls. From October 2016 to March 2018, non-fasting serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured using a chemiluminescent immunoassay. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a concentration < 20 ng/mL.

Results: The study enrolled 28 patients with cluster headache, 36 migraineurs, and 36 normal controls. In the patients with cluster headache, the serum 25(OH)D concentration averaged 14.0 ± 3.9 ng/mL and 92.8% had vitamin D deficiency. There was no significant difference among the patients with cluster headache, migraineurs, and controls. In the patients with cluster headache, there was no difference in the serum 25(OH)D concentrations between men and women, cluster and remission periods, first and recurrent attack, presence and absence of daily or seasonal periodicity, and 3-month recurrence. In the 14 patients with seasonal periodicity, patients with periodicity of winter to spring had a trend of lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations than those with periodicity of summer to autumn (12.30 ± 1.58 vs. 16.96 ± 4.69 ng/mL, p = 0.097).

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with cluster headache, but the role of vitamin D deficiency is uncertain, except for its seasonal influence.

Keywords: Cluster headache; Deficiency; Migraine; Vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cluster Headache / blood
  • Cluster Headache / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seasons*
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D