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Migraine Prevalence Up for Food-Insecure Young Adults

Odds of migraine higher for food-insecure versus food-secure in unadjusted, adjusted analyses

girl being examined

THURSDAY, June 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of migraine is elevated for young adults with food insecurity, according to a study published online June 24 in JAMA Neurology.

Jason M. Nagata, M.D., from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues examined the correlation between food insecurity and migraine in a nationally representative sample of U.S. young adults ages 24 to 32 years from wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Food insecurity was based on self-report of a question relating to whether the participant was worried food would run out before they received money to buy more. The sample included 14,786 young adults with a mean age of 28.1 years.

The researchers found that 11 percent of the young adults were food-insecure. Compared with food-secure young adults, food-insecure young adults had a higher prevalence of migraine (23.9 versus 13.6 percent). In unadjusted and adjusted analyses, the odds of migraine were higher among food-insecure versus food-secure young adults (odds ratio, 2.00; adjusted odds ratio, 1.58).

"Health care clinicians caring for persons who experience migraine should consider screening for food insecurity as a potential contributor to migraine exacerbations and provide referrals to programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program) when appropriate," the authors write.

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