Stress and Headaches


Story Updated: Feb 21, 2014

Between 2010 and 2012 nearly 5200 men and women aged 21 to 71 were polled 4 times a year for 2 years.

More than 30 percent said that, every month, they experienced tension-type headaches. 14% said they had monthly migraines almost 11% said they experienced both tension headaches and migraines and over 17% said they had headaches of an undetermined nature.

The tension headache group ranked their stress at 52 out of 100. Migraine sufferers pegged theirs at 62 while the combo group put theirs at 59.

A cross-referencing of responses demonstrated a clear association between increased stress and the number of headaches per month.

Even after accounting for variables such as drinking, smoking, and pain medication usage the experts found that for every 10-point bump in stress, monthly tension headache frequency rose more than 6%. Migraine and combo headaches went up by roughly 4%.

The researchers say these findings suggest that stress management could be critical to helping cut back headache risk.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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