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Lifestyle Factors and Migraine in Childhood


Migraine is one of the most common pain symptoms in children. Indeed, a high percentage of adult migraine patients report to have suffered from recurrent headache during the childhood. In particular, children could experience the so-called childhood periodic syndromes (such as cyclic vomiting, abdominal migraine, and benign paroxysmal vertigo) that have been usually considered precursors of migraine or they could develop overt migraine headaches. However, typical cohort of migraine symptoms could be absent and children could not achieve all clinical features necessary for a migraine attack diagnosis according to classification criteria. Nevertheless, migraine is characterized also in childhood by a significant negative impact on the quality of life and a high risk of developing chronic and persistent headache in adulthood. Several studies have emphasized the role of different risk factors for migraine in children. Among these, obesity and overweight, particular food or the regular consumption of alcohol or caffeine, dysfunctional family situation, low level of physical activity, physical or emotional abuse, bullying by peers, unfair treatment in school, and insufficient leisure time seem to be strictly related to migraine onset or progression. Consequently, both identification and avoidance of triggers seem to be mandatory in children with migraine and could represent an alternative approach to the treatment of migraine abstaining from pharmacologic therapies.

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Correspondence to Gioacchino Tedeschi.

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Antonio Russo, Antonio Bruno, Francesca Trojsi, Alessandro Tessitore, and Gioacchino Tedeschi declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Russo, A., Bruno, A., Trojsi, F. et al. Lifestyle Factors and Migraine in Childhood. Curr Pain Headache Rep 20, 9 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11916-016-0539-y

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  • Adolescents
  • Pediatric
  • Lifestyle
  • Risk factors
  • Migraine
  • Headache