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Hot days appear to be bad news for migraine sufferers as they increase the risks of an attack the next day.

The researchers in a study of over 7,000 patients found that this risk went up by 7.5% for every five degree Celsius increase in temperature. The same risk appeared for for people who suffer from non-migraine headaches too.

Researchers suggested that even though you can't change the weather, migraine sufferers can still watch the forecast and pop a pill to prevent attacks.

Besides temperature, people should check air pressure too, as lower barometer readings over the past couple of days have also been linked with migraines, but not as strong.

The study looked at people attending the emergency department of a large US hospital for advice about a headache at any point during a seven year period. With the help of meteorological and pollutant monitors, the researchers then compared measurements of a number of environmental factors during the days leading up to and again some weeks after a patient's hospital visit. They found that every five degree Celsius rise in temperature was linked to a 7.5% hike in headache risk. Air pollution had no effect on the risk of an attack.

These findings help us understand that the environment around us indeed affects our health and, in terms of headaches, may be impacting many, many people on a daily basis. Headache patients should see their doctors to identify the triggers that lead to their symptoms.

This doesn’t mean that the people should become over-reliant on medication, taking it just in case as taking too many painkillers too often carries its own risks.


I wonder if having a cold drink or turning on the air conditioner would have been better alternatives to popping a pill when the air temperature rises.