Washington: Teenage girls who reach early puberty also have a greater chance of developing migraine headaches, the researchers said.
"We know that the percentage of girls and boys who suffer from migraine is almost the same until menstruation starts. When menstrual periods begin in girls, the prevalence increases, but our data shows that it happened even before that," said Vincent Martin, one of the researchers research.
About 10 percent of school-age children suffer from migraines, according to research presented at the American Headache Society. As teenagers approach, migraine incidence increases rapidly in girls, and at age 17, about 8 percent of boys and 23 percent of girls experience migraines.
Girls aged 8 to 20 years and this study lasted for 10 years starting in 2004. Girls enrolled in the study at the age of 8-10 were examined during the study visit every six to 12 months. Researchers determine when they show early signs of thelarche (breast development), pubarche (pubic hair growth) and menarche (starting menstrual period).
Girls answered headache questionnaires to find out if they had migraine headaches, no migraines or the possibility of migraines was last defined as meeting all diagnostic criteria for migraine except one. The average age when they complete the survey is 16 years.
Of those surveyed, 85 girls (11 percent) were diagnosed with migraine headaches while 53 (7%) had the possibility of migraines and 623 (82%) did not have migraines.
The researchers found that girls with migraines had an age earlier than thelarche (breast development) and the onset of menarche (menstrual period) compared to those who did not have migraines.
In the average breast, development occurred four months earlier in those who had migraines while menstruation began five months earlier. There were no differences in pubarche age (development of pubic hair) between those with migraines and no migraines.
"There is a 25 percent increase in the likelihood of experiencing a migraine every year before that a girl experiences thelarche or menarche. This shows a strong association between early puberty and the development of migraines in adolescent girls," said Susan Pinney, who was lead researcher in the study.
The age of onset of thelarche, pubarche or menarche does not differ between them with the possibility of migraines and without migraines, Pinney said.
Previous research has shown that migraines often begin with the onset of the menstrual cycle during menarche in adolescent girls. But this research looked at previous puberty stages such as thelarche and pubarche, explained Martin.
"To show the origin of migraines may occur actually before the menstrual period begins is a fairly new thing. At each of these stages, different hormones begin to appear in girls. During pubarche, testosterone and androgens present, and during thelarche, there is very first exposure Menarche is when more mature hormonal patterns emerge, our study implies that the first exposure to estrogen can be the starting point for migraines in some young women. This may be the Big Bang theory of migraines, "Martin said. .