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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2008 Apr;12(2):115-21.

Cluster headache and lifestyle habits.

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  • 1Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 900 Commonwealth Avenue East, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Cluster headache (CH) has traditionally been associated with certain anthropometric features, personality traits, and lifestyle features. This article focuses on lifestyle features in patients with CH. Especially excessive smoking and alcohol consumption have been ascribed to patients with CH. Despite country-specific habits and a time trend, smoking is much more prevalent among CH patients compared with the general population. Although excessive alcohol consumption was reported in early studies, this was not corroborated more recently. On the contrary, patients with CH seem to avoid alcohol, particularly during active phases, likely due to its ability to trigger attacks. Present studies are purely descriptive. Thus, the associations sketched give no information about the long-term effects of smoking or alcohol consumption on the course of CH.

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