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New Study Finds that Poor Air Quality can Be A Cause for Migraine & other Headaches

Posted Oct 21 2009 10:01pm
I think that one of the worst headaches a person can experience is a Migraine- it can be very painful and debilitating. There are many known trigger of migraine headaches:
  • Smells
  • Spicy Food
  • MSG’s
  • Menstruation cycle for women
  • Red Wine
  • Cured Cheeses and Meats
  • Loud noises
  • Bright Lights
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Change in Weather
What about headaches from sitting in bumper to bumper traffic? Well bad driving and bad drivers may not be the only reason for your headache. A new study shows that air quality can cause headaches.

The study found increases in air pollution were associated with increases in numbers of hospital admissions for headache. The study was reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology this month by Dr. Sabit Cakmak’s team of Health Canada.

Santiago Chile - Bad Air Quality Can Lead to Headaches, Study The study took place in the Santiago province of Chile where the Dr.Cakmak’s team analyzed ozone and air pollution levels at 7 monitoring stations between the years 2001 and 2005. The scientists measured air pollutants such as nitrogen and sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter associated with the combustion of gasoline, natural gas and other fossil fuels.

The Santiago province of Chile is an area that is highly populated. It is surrounded by the Andes mountains and therefore a target for air pollution. At the same time, the investigators collected information on the number of hospitalizations for headache symptoms. When the investigators analyzed the data about air pollution in all areas, they found that air pollution was a risk factor for all types of headaches. These headaches included migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches and other types. ** There were significant associations between migraine and ozone in all regions. The age and sex of the participants did not make a difference. The season of the year also did not matter significantly.

Dr. Cakmak noted that further study should be completed based on the findings. The researchers estimated that poor air quality can cause many different symptoms and illnesses. Headaches should be included in these symptoms, as they are likely to arise in areas of poor air quality.

So if you are prone to migraine headaches, keep in mind that the air quality around you may be a major factor. Doing your best to surround yourself with clean air may help prevent your next attack.

Air Pollution and Hospitalization for Headache in Chile ; October 2009

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