Precipitating factors in migraine: a retrospective review of 494 patients

Headache. 1994 Apr;34(4):214-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1994.hed3404214.x.


The predominance of certain triggers for migraine was assessed in 494 migraine patients. Stress (62%) was the most frequently cited precipitant. Weather changes (43%), missing a meal (40%), and bright sunlight (38%) were also prominent factors. Sexual activity (5%) was the precipitant cited by the least number of patients. Significant differences were found between men and women in their responses to weather changes, perfumes, cigarette smoke, missing a meal, and sexual activity. Spring was cited by 14% of patients as a time for increased migraine attacks, followed by fall (13%), summer (11%), and winter (7%).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Stress, Physiological / complications