Scientists at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, have established through a study that there is a link between increased coffee consumption and increased chances of migraine headache.
According to the study published in The American Journal of Medicine, drinking three or more servings of caffeinated beverages a day is associated with the onset of a headache on that or the following day in patients with episodic migraine.
Approximately 1.04 billion adults worldwide are said to suffer from migraine. Migraine is a disabling primary headache disorder affecting and representing the most common pain condition causing lost productivity and significant direct and indirect costs.
There is widespread anecdotal belief that caffeinated beverages may trigger migraine headaches and relieve headaches once they have begun, there is limited scientific evidence to assess the potential association between changes in daily intake and the onset of headaches after accounting for other changes in lifestyle such as physical activity and anxiety. Common anecdotal evidence also suggests that migraine can be immediately triggered by weather or lifestyle factors, such as sleep disturbance and skipping meals.
Investigators analyzed data from 98 adults who suffer from episodic migraines. Participants completed electronic diaries twice a day for six weeks reporting on their caffeinated beverage intake, other lifestyle factors, and the timing and characteristics of each migraine headache.
The study compared each participant’s incidence of migraines on days they consumed caffeinated beverage intake to the incidence of migraines on days they did not. Baseline data had indicated that participants typically experienced an average of five headaches per month; 66 percent of them usually consumed one to two servings of caffeinated beverages daily, and 12 percent consumed three or more cups. During the six-week study period in 2016-17, participants experienced an average of 8.4 headaches. All reported having caffeinated beverages on at least one day during the study, with an average of 7.9 servings per week.