Being obsese may exacerbate headaches in kids, experts say
Children who suffer from migraine headaches are 36 percent more likely to be overweight, according to a new study to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society in Los Angeles. Investigators at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center evaluated 440 children, between the ages of 3 to 18, who visited one of seven pediatric headache centers. Just over 91 percent were diagnosed with migraine headaches and close to 9 percent had other types of headaches. While 15.5 percent of U.S. children are considered overweight, more than 21 percent of headache-prone children in the study were overweight, the researchers said. Severity of headaches was also examined and calculated on a scale where a score of between 30 and 50 signified moderate disability due to headache. Children who were overweight had an average score of 41.9, those at risk of being overweight a score of 42.9, and children of normal weight a score of 28.7. Investigators cautioned that there are likely a number of causes for these findings, including poorer general health, body stress. lack of exercise and nutrition. It may not be that being overweight directly causes migraine, but that the reasons for being overweight result in these children having worsening headaches. Whatever the cause or causes that emerge as possibly linking obesity to migraine headache, one conclusion can be reached: helping children eat appropriately and exercise regularly certainly appers as a major primary prevention approach to controlling the problem.
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