ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2009)

People who consume high amounts of caffeine each day are more likely to suffer occasional headaches than those with low caffeine consumption reported a team of researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU.  They also reported that low caffeine consumption was associated with a greater likelihood of chronic headaches.

The results are drawn from a large cross-sectional study of 50,483 people who answered a questionnaire about caffeine consumption and headache prevalence as a part of the Nord-Trøndelag Health Survey (HUNT 2), a county-wide health survey conducted in 1995-1997 on a wide range of health topics.

Since the study is cross-sectional, it cannot be concluded that high caffeine consumption causes infrequent headache,” the researchers write.  One possibility is that caffeine consumption helps change chronic headache into infrequent headache.

 In an interview, Dr. Knut Hagen said that people should consider cutting back on their coffee consumption if headaches were a problem. “People who suffer from headaches should be focused on their caffeine use, because it can be a cause of their headaches,” he said.

 Note from Dr. Strauss:  Don’t quit caffeine cold turkey!  Cut back your consumption gradually or a severe caffeine-induced headache is guaranteed.  The cure: caffeine – of course.

Journal reference:

  1. Knut Hagen, Kari Thoresen, Lars Jacob Stovner, John-Anker Zwart. High dietary caffeine consumption is associated with a modest increase in headache prevalence: results from the Head-HUNT Study. Journal of Headache Pain, 2009; 10: 153-159 DOI: 10.1007/s10194-009-0114-6

Adapted from materials provided by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), via AlphaGalileo.