Girls approaching puberty at higher risk of migraine, study finds

According to a new study, girls approaching puberty are more likely to develop migraine than their male peers


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Puberty signals a significant step into adulthood for both boys and girls. It’s when both experience sudden growth spurts, have big changes in their bodies, start getting raging hormones, and in the case of emotions, start thinking the world is against them. But don’t worry, it’s just a phase.

Still, puberty is as stressful as it can be important, since it will be the first time a kid will go through all their changes. And according to a new study, it’s especially more stressful for young women, since the results reveal that girls approaching puberty are more likely to develop migraine than their male peers.

Can’t catch a break

Per the study, both boys and girls experience similar migraine rates until girls have their first menstruation, after which their rate significantly increases.

“We know that the percentage of girls and boys who have migraine is pretty much the same until menstruation begins,” said Dr Vincent Martin, a professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and director of the Headache and Facial Pain Center at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Gardner Neuroscience Institute in Ohio. He led the study along with colleagues.

“When the menstrual period starts in girls, the prevalence goes way up, but what our data suggest is that it occurs even before that,” he added.

With their findings presented at the American Headache Society 61st Annual Scientific Meeting in Pennyslvania, the research made use of data taken from around 761 adolescent girls, with ages ranging from 8 to 20. The data was collected in the span of a decade, starting from 2004.

After further examining the data, the researchers also found that girls with migraine also have experienced changes from puberty (like as thelarche and menarche) earlier than those who don’t.

“This suggests a strong relationship between early puberty and the development of migraine in adolescent girls,” says Susan Pinney, Ph.D., a professor in the UC Department of Environmental Health and a lead investigator on the study.

Moving forward, the researchers hope to continue the study and research to find and further understand the origins of migraine.

Source: Medical Daily