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AHS: Obese Children More Likely to Have Headaches

Excess pounds may increase frequency, severity of headache in some children

TUESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Children and teens who are obese are more likely to have frequent, severe headaches than children with weights in the normal range, according to a study presented at the American Headache Society's annual scientific meeting in Los Angeles.

Andrew Hershey, M.D., Ph.D., director of The Headache Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, and colleagues studied 440 consecutive pediatric patients evaluated at seven different headache centers. They found obesity was more common in children with headaches, who were 36 percent more likely to be overweight than other patients.

Most of the headaches the children had were migraines, and obese children had scores reflecting a level of disability (as indicated by school absence or other missed activities) that was more than twice as high, on average, as their counterparts in the normal-weight range.

"There are a likely number of causes (for the difference), including poorer general health, body stress, lack of exercise and nutrition," Hershey said.


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