This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
migraine headache can cause disabling pain. People may not feel back to normal
for hours or even days.
headaches are most common among young adults and middle-aged people. In the
United States, about eighteen percent of women and six percent of men report
People who suffer from migraines can find that different
"triggers" in different people may get a headache started. Stress can
act as a trigger. So can chocolate in some people.
migraine sufferers say hot weather and low barometric pressure can act as
triggers. But researchers say they did not have much scientific evidence of
that -- until now.
a new study, a team examined the medical records of seven thousand hospital
patients. The patients had visited the emergency room at Beth Israel Deaconess
Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, because of a headache. More than two
thousand of them had been found to have a migraine.
team then compared those records to weather conditions in the twenty-four hours
before the hospital visits. For every increase of five degrees Celsius in air
temperature, the patients had a seven and one-half percent higher risk of
migraine. Decreases in barometric pressure two to three days before the visit also
appeared to trigger headaches, but to a lesser extent.
researchers found no evidence that air pollution influenced headaches. But they
could not rule out the possibility of a smaller effect similar to that seen
earlier for strokes.
Kenneth Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess and Harvard
Medical School led the study, reported in the journal Neurology.
separate study has found that age, gender and where a person has extra body fat
may affect the risk of migraine. It found that overweight people between the
ages of twenty and fifty-five may have a higher risk. On average, those who
were larger around the middle were more likely to have migraines than those of
the same age with smaller waistlines.
The study involved twenty-two thousand people. It was
led by Lee Peterlin of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. She says early results suggest that losing weight in the stomach
area may help younger people who experience migraines, especially women. The
findings will be presented in a few weeks at the American Academy of Neurology meeting
in Seattle, Washington.
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report,
written by Caty Weaver. I'm Steve Ember.