Climate change headache risk
HIGHER temperatures and lower barometric air pressure, rather than air pollution, appear to be linked to an increased risk of headaches.
A US study of more than 7000 people diagnosed with headache in a Boston emergency department revealed that the frequency and severity of headaches increased after a spell of these climactic conditions.
The risk increased by 7.5% for every 5ºC temperature increase during the three days leading up to the hospital visit. Lower barometric air pressure two to three days before the diagnosis also increased the risk of non-migraine headaches.
Air pollution did not impact on headache risk, but the role of fine particulate matter as a trigger for headache merited additional study, the authors said.
The findings suggested the public health impact of triggering migraine by rising ambient temperatures was potentially far-reaching, given the number of people potentially affected, they added.