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Headache. 2012 Nov-Dec;52(10):1499-505. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02250.x. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

Association between headache and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D: the Tromsø Study: Tromsø 6.

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Division of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway.



High prevalence of headache has been associated with high latitude, thus suggesting a relation with vitamin D. However, there are so far no reports on the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and headache.


To investigate the association between headache and serum 25(OH)D in a general population.


Cross-sectional study based on questionnaires from 11,614 persons who participated in the sixth survey of the Tromsø Study (Tromsø 6) carried out in 2007-2008. The data were stratified according to smoking status and analyzed with regard to migraine and non-migraine headache. Adjustments were done for age, body mass index (BMI), gender, season, chronic diseases, education, physical exercise, and alcohol consumption.


Headache of non-migraine type was associated with low levels of serum 25(OH)D with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.20 (1.04-1.39) in the lowest quartile as compared to the highest serum 25(OH)D quartile. No significant association was found between migraine and serum 25(OH)D.


Non-migraine headache was associated with low levels of serum 25(OH)D. Although adjustment were done for possible confounders, this finding may still reflect lifestyle rather than causality, and further studies are needed to investigate this. No association was found between serum 25(OH)D and migraine.


Norway; headache; migraine; serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D; vitamin D

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