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Alcoholic Beverages Recognized as Migraine Trigger

Eur J Neurol; ePub 2018 Dec 18; Onderwater, et al.


Alcoholic beverages, especially red wine, are recognized as a migraine trigger factor by patients with migraine and have a substantial effect on alcohol consumption behavior, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted a cross‐sectional, web‐based, questionnaire study among 2197 patients with migraine from the well‐defined Leiden University MIgraine Neuro‐Analysis (LUMINA) study population. They assessed alcoholic beverage consumption and self‐reported trigger potential, reasons behind alcohol abstinence, and time between alcohol consumption and migraine attack onset. They found:

  • Alcoholic beverages were reported as a trigger by 35.6% of participants with migraine.
  • In addition, more than 25% of patients with migraine who had stopped consuming or never consumed alcoholic beverages did so because of presumed trigger effects.
  • Wine, especially red wine (77.8% of participants), was recognized as the most common trigger among the alcoholic beverages.
  • However, red wine consistently led to an attack in only 8.8% of participants.
  • Time of onset was rapid (<3 hours) in one‐third of patients and almost 90% had an onset of less than 10 hours independent of beverage type.

Onderwater GLC, van Oosterhaut WPJ, Schoonman GG, Ferrari MD, Terwindt GM. Alcoholic beverages as trigger factor and the effect on alcohol consumption behavior in patients with migraine. [Published online ahead of print December 18, 2018]. Eur J Neurol . doi:10.1111/ene.13861.

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