Higher sodium intake may be tied to worse migraine outcomes

A higher 24-hour urine sodium level is positively associated with worse migraine headache outcomes, according to a study published online Aug. 11 in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Arman Arab, from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and colleagues examined the relationship between 24-hour urine sodium and potassium intakes and clinical findings of migraine among 262 participants (mean age, 36.1 years; mean body mass index, 25.6 kg/m2).

The researchers found that in an adjusted analysis, 24-hour urine sodium was positively associated with a longer headache duration (β = 0.29) in the group with the highest urine sodium levels versus those with the lowest levels. When the 24-hour urine sodium level increased from the first to the third tertile, an increase of 13.05 in the Migraine Headache Index Score (MHIS; β = 13.05) was seen when adjusting for potential confounders.

“The present findings suggest that a higher 24-hour urine sodium level is positively associated with a longer duration of migraine headaches and a higher MHIS,” the authors write. “These findings, however, do not specify a cause-and-effect relationship, and there is a need for further research in this area to understand whether reduction of sodium intake can improve these symptoms and also to discover the mechanisms that mediate this association.”