Belly fat increases risk of migraines

February 15th, 2009 - 9:24 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Feb 15 (Xinhua) People aged 20 to 55 who have large waistlines are more likely to have migraines, according to a new study.

The conclusion was based on a study of 22,211 people by researchers at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) said in a press release here Saturday.

In addition to age and gender, the way body fat was distributed also affects migraine risk, according to the study.

The study found that migraine was reported by 37 percent of women in that age group who had excess abdominal fat, compared with 29 percent of those without abdominal obesity. Among men 20 to 55 years old, 20 percent of those with excess belly fat reported migraine, compared with 16 percent of those without it.

Among those older than 55, total body obesity wasn’t associated with migraine in women or men. But the risk of migraine actually decreased among women older than 55 with long waistlines, according to the study.

“These results, while still in the early stages, suggest that losing weight in the stomach area may be beneficial for younger people who experience migraine, and especially so for women,” study authorB. Lee Peterlin said in the news release.

“Men and women have body tissue distributed in different ways,” Peterlin said. “After puberty, women show more fatty tissue deposits in the hip and thigh area, while men predominately have more fatty tissue in the belly region. After menopause, women show more fatty tissue in the belly area as well. For some diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, excess fat around the waistline appears to be a stronger risk factor than total body obesity.”

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