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Rev Neurol. 2012 Jun 1;54(11):641-8.

[Precipitating factors of migraine attacks in patients attended in neurology services. The FACTOR study].

[Article in Spanish]

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Área de Neurología, Centro Médico de Asturias, Oviedo, Asturias.



Patients with migraine often report factors or circumstances that precipitate or trigger their attacks. Yet few studies have been conducted to examine this matter.


To explore the factors that precipitate migraine in our setting, as well is their possible relation with the intensity of the attacks or the overall repercussion of migraine.


An epidemiological, cross-sectional, multi-centre study was conducted in neurology consultation services. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected and the precipitating factors were identified from a closed list. The specific migraine disability questionnaire -Headache Impact Test (HIT-6)- and the measurement of the number of lost workday equivalents were used in the study.


Altogether 817 patients were recruited (72.5% females, mean age: 34.6 ± 10.3 years). A total of 70.5% of the patients had severe disability according to the HIT-6. The mean monthly number of lost workday equivalents was 2.1 ± 2.5. A total of 96.6% of the patients identified some precipitating factor for the attacks, the most commonly reported being hormonal (75.2%), stress (70.9%) and those related with disorders affecting sleep patterns (68.4%).


The FACTOR study confirms that most patients with migraine identify some circumstance that precipitates their attacks. Controlling or avoiding these factors, whenever possible, must be part of the programme of education received by patients suffering from migraine.

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