Study: 3 cups of coffee a day increases migraine risk

Study: 3 cups of coffee a day increases migraine risk

Drinking three or more cups of coffee daily may be associated with a higher risk of migraine, according to a study published Thursday. Afflicting more than one billion adults worldwide, migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world, said researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in the US. In addition to severe headache, symptoms of migraine can include nausea, changes in mood, sensitivity to light and sound, as well as visual and auditory hallucinations. The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, evaluated the role of caffeinated beverages as a potential trigger of migraine.

Led by Elizabeth Mostofsky, from the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) in the US, the researchers found that, among patients who experience episodic migraine, one to two servings of caffeinated beverages were not associated with headaches on that day. However, three or more servings of caffeinated beverages may be associated with higher odds of migraine headache occurrence on that day or the following day.

"While some potential triggers - such as lack of sleep - may only increase migraine risk, the role of caffeine is particularly complex, because it may trigger an attack but also helps control symptoms," said Mostofsky. "Caffeine's impact depends both on dose and on frequency, but because there have been few prospective studies on the immediate risk of migraine headaches following caffeinated beverage intake, there is limited evidence to formulate dietary recommendations for people with migraines," he said.

In the study, 98 adults with frequent episodic migraine completed electronic diaries every morning and every evening for at least six weeks. Every day, participants reported the total servings of caffeinated coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks they consumed, as well as filled out twice daily headache reports detailing the onset, duration, intensity, and medications used for migraines since the previous diary entry.Researchers used a self-matched analysis, comparing an individual participant's incidence of migraines on days with caffeinated beverage intake to thier incidence of migraines on days with no caffeinated beverage intake.

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