Alcohol as a trigger of migraine attacks in people with migraine. Results from a large prospective cohort study in English-speaking countries

Objective To assess whether alcohol intake is associated with the onset of migraine attacks up to 2 days after consumption in individuals with episodic migraine (EM). Background Although alcohol has long been suspected to be a common migraine trigger, studies have been inconclusive in proving this association. Methods This was an observational prospective cohort study among individuals with migraine who registered to use a digital health platform for headache. Eligible individuals were aged ≥18 years with EM who consumed alcohol and had tracked their headache symptoms and alcohol intake for ≥90 days. People who did not drink any alcohol were excluded. The association of alcohol intake (“Yes/No”) and of the number of alcoholic beverages in the 2 days preceding a migraine attack was assessed accounting for the presence of migraine on day-2 and its interaction with alcohol intake on day-2, and further adjusted for sex, age, and average weekly alcohol intake. Results Data on 487 individuals reporting 5913 migraine attacks and a total of 40,165 diary days were included in the analysis. Presence of migraine on day-2 and its interaction with alcohol intake on day-2 were not significant and removed from the model. At the population level, alcohol intake on day-2 was associated with a lower probability of migraine attack (OR [95% CI] = 0.75 [0.68, 0.82]; event rate 1006/4679, 21.5%), while the effect of alcohol intake on day-1 was not significant (OR [95% CI] = 1.01 [0.91, 1.11]; event rate 1163/4679, 24.9%) after adjusting for sex, age, and average weekly alcohol intake. Similar results were obtained with the number of beverages as exposure. Conclusions In this English-speaking cohort of individuals with EM who identified themselves as mostly low-dose alcohol consumers, there was no significant effect on the probability of a migraine attack in the 24 h following consumption, and a slightly lower likelihood of a migraine attack from 24 to 48 h following use ​
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