- Adults with a history of episodic migraine have an increased risk for headache onset in the presence of higher relative humidity in warmer months, and higher levels of traffic-related gaseous pollutants in colder months.
Why this matters
- Prior studies on the association between weather and ambient air pollution and migraine onset have yielded conflicting results.
- Prospective study on 98 patients with episodic migraine (mean age, 35 years; follow-up, 4406 days; total episodes, 870).
- Weather factors noted between March 2016 and October 2017 in the greater Boston area:
- Daily mean temperature: 56.9°F (13.8°C).
- Daily mean fine particulate matter: 7.3 μg/m3.
- Relative humidity: 67.3%.
- Funding: Harvard Catalyst; others.
- Increased risk for the onset of migraine headache was noted with higher relative humidity in the warm season (April-September).
- Among air pollutants, ozone was positively associated with the likelihood for the onset of migraine headache:
- OR, 1.17 (95% CI, 1.002-1.36) with a 14 ppb higher 1-day moving average of daily maximum 8-hour ozone.
- In the cold season, there were weak positive associations between other traffic pollutants (nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide) and risks for the onset of migraine headache.
- Limited generalisability of the findings.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm