Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are much more likely than straight people to get migraines. Research carried out in the US shows sexual orientation may be a risk factor for the painful and disabling headaches.
Nearly one third of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) participants experienced migraines, 58% more than did heterosexual participants, in a survey by the University of California.
The researchers said while their work shows LGB Americans are at greater risk for migraines, they could not pinpoint the reasons why.
“There might be a higher rate of migraines in LGB people because of discrimination, stigma or prejudice, which may lead to stress and trigger a migraine,” the study’s lead author Dr. Jason Nagata, an assistant professor of pediatrics at UCSF, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Physicians should be aware that migraines are quite common in LGB individuals and assess for migraine symptoms,” Nagata said.
LGB people may be at higher risk for migraines also due to barriers of receiving health care, Nagata added.