This study investigated the relationship between headache and dietary consumption of a variety of nutrients in middle-aged women. This cross-sectional analysis used first-visit records of 405 women aged 40-59 years. The frequency of headaches was assessed using the Menopausal Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire. Of the 43 major nutrient intakes surveyed using the brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire, those that were not shared between women with and without frequent headaches were selected. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify nutrients independently associated with frequent headaches. After adjusting for background factors related to frequent headache (vasomotor, insomnia, anxiety, and depression symptoms), the estimated dietary intake of isoflavones (daidzein + genistein) (mg/1000 kcal/day) was negatively associated with frequent headaches (adjusted odds, 0.974; 95% confidence interval, 0.950-0.999). Moreover, the estimated isoflavone intake was not significantly associated with headache frequency in the premenopausal group, whereas it significantly correlated with that in the peri- and post-menopausal groups. Headache in peri- and post-menopausal women was inversely correlated with the dietary intake of isoflavones. Diets rich in isoflavones may improve headaches in middle-aged women.
Keywords: daidzein; genistein; headache; isoflavone; menopause.