Many people suffering from headaches, including migraines, usually blame it on the weather. However, there has been no evidence to support this connection. Now a latest, large scale study has provided certain data stating that environmental conditions may actually be linked with such headaches. This study was conducted by the Harvard experts at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The study investigators have stated that a huge portion of the population experience migraine headaches. In the U.S, on an average about 18 percent women and 6 percent men report of facing such headaches. It is known that migraine headaches may be triggered due to certain foodstuffs or external factors like alcohol, stress, etc. However, the investigators have now demonstrated that high temperatures and low barometric pressure, to a certain extent, may be associated with such headaches. This study was conducted on about 7,000 patients.
“Air temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure are among the most frequent reasons that people give for their headache pain. But none of these reasons have been consistently verified. We wanted to find out if we could verify this ‘clinical folklore.’ We also wanted to determine whether air pollutants trigger headaches, much as they have been found to trigger strokes,” said Study author, Kenneth Mukamal, associate professor of medicine, and physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
With the help of meteorological and pollutant monitors, the investigators gauged certain environmental factors like the barometric pressure, air temperature, humidity, sulfur dioxides, etc. These measurements were taken three days prior to the patients’ hospital visits and also on corresponding dates. These measurements were taken with the aim of evaluating whether the cause of severe headache was somehow linked with the above mentioned factors.
Higher air temperatures, 24 hours before the hospital visit of the patient could be a likely factor that triggers headache. It was also found that lower barometric pressure about 48 to 72 hours before the patient’s hospital visit was linked to headache symptoms.
The investigators recommend patient’s experiencing such headaches to identify the possible factors that could be traced to such headaches, along with the help of their doctors. The weather can’t be altered, but the respective doctor may be able to prescribe certain drugs to help prevent the occurrence of such weather-induced headaches in patients’.
Their findings are presented in the Neurology journal.