1. Section Editor(s): Anderson, Pamela
  2. Milner, John

Article Content

Obesity is linked to a risk of severe headaches, according to research presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of American Academy of Neurology. The study measured the influence of BMI on frequency, severity, and the potentially disabling effects of headaches. An individual's BMI helps determine his or her individual weight-related health problems according to height and weight. Results indicated that chronic daily headaches were more prevalent in obese and morbidly obese people than in those with normal body weight.


Thirty-three percent of the obese people missed more than 4 days of work in 1 year because of a severe headache, compared to 27.2% of overweight people, 27.2% of normal weight people, and 26.1% of underweight people. Obese people also reported severe pain more often than the other groups. Those with morbid obesity reported that the pain was usually severe 40.2% of the time. The length of time the headaches were endured did not differ significantly among the groups.


These findings suggest that people with obesity were more likely to report frequent, more painful, and more debilitating headaches than other groups we encountered. The underweight group reported headaches accompanied by nausea more frequently than the other groups.


Source: The American Academy of Neurology.