The Open Neurology Journal

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The Frequency of Food Allergy Among Children With Migraine Headache; A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study

Akefeh Ahmadiafshar1, Mohammad Vafaee-Shahi2, *, Saeide Ghasemi3, Fariba Khosroshahi4, Aina Riahi5
1 Pediatrics, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
2 Pediatric Growth and Development Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Pediatric ward, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Pediatric ward, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
5 Iran University of Medical Sciences, Pediatric Ward, Tehran, Iran



Headache and particularly migraine headaches are considered as a debilitating disease worldwide that can adversely affect the quality of life of children and adults. Various factors can play a critical role in the development of migraine headache attacks. The food allergens are considered as important factors. This study aimed to determine the frequency of food allergy in children with migraine headaches.


Forty patients aged <16 years with a migraine headache were entered into the study. A questionnaire was provided in which data on demographic information and skin test results for various allergens were recorded. Dietary allergies were defined based on a positive skin test plus a patient's history of food allergies. The severity of migraine was evaluated using the Migraine disability assessment score (MIDAS) questionnaire.


The present study showed 32.5% of our participants had a food allergy. No significant association was detected between sex (p=58) and age (p=0.14) with food allergy. However, the frequency of food allergy was significantly higher in patients aged ≥12 years old (44.4%) than those aged <12 (22.7%). A significant relationship was found between the number of attacks after prophylaxis and the frequency of food allergies (p=0.032). Individuals with lower attacks had a lower food allergy.


Our findings revealed that about one-third of children with a migraine headache had a food allergy. This frequency was significantly higher in children with migraines than that of the general population based on the results of previous studies. It is recommended that these patients receive a skin allergy test while preparing a strong history of food allergies or when the frequency of migraine attacks does not decrease significantly despite proper prophylaxis.

Keywords: Children is a common word, Food allergy, Migraine, Headache, PRICK test, Pediatric.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 14
First Page: 46
Last Page: 52
Publisher Id: TONEUJ-14-46
DOI: 10.2174/1874205X02014010046

Article History:

Received Date: 23/03/2020
Revision Received Date: 11/06/2020
Acceptance Date: 12/06/2020
Electronic publication date: 30/07/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Ahmadiafshar et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Iran University of Medical Sciences, Pediatric Growth and Development Research Center, Tehran, Iran E-mail:

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