Headaches in high-schoolers, smoking link

June 7, 2010 at 10:12 PM
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MUNICH, Germany, June 7 (UPI) -- German researchers have linked headaches in high-school students to smoking and use of alcohol.

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich also found coffee drinking and physical inactivity associated specifically with teen migraines.

"Our study confirms, adolescents with any type of headache might benefit from regular physical activity and low consumption of alcoholic drinks," study leader Dr. Astrid Milde-Busch said in a statement. "In teens suffering from migraine a low coffee consumption should also be suggested."

Milde-Busch and colleagues asked 1,260 students ages 14-20 in grades 10 and 11 to fill out questionnaires on headache, diet and lifestyle. The researchers found 28 percent of the teens never had breakfast and 22 percent drank less than a quart of non-alcoholic fluids, but concluded neither skipping meals nor insufficient fluid intake were responsible for teen headaches.

The study, published in Headache, found 83 percent of students reported headache at least once during the previous six months -- 10 percent migraine, 49 percent tension-type headache and 20 percent combined migraine and tension.

Beer, wine and cocktails were consumed by 38 percent, 19 percent and 25 percent, respectively, of the teens who drank weekly. Almost three-quarters of the adolescents -- 73.3 percent -- reported never smoking and 43.4 percent students said they did not drink coffee.

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