Research Article

Effects of Migraine Trigger Number on Migraine Characteristics


  • Hatice Yüksel
  • Safiye Gül Kenar
  • Görkem Tutal Gürsoy
  • Hesna Bektaş

Received Date: 15.12.2021 Accepted Date: 05.12.2022 J Ankara Univ Fac Med 2022;75(4):556-561


Migraine is a chronic neurovascular disease that usually presents with episodic and throbbing headaches. The onset of migraine attacks has been associated with the presence of internal and external triggers. The aim of our study was to investigate firstly the effect of the ten most frequently reported triggers on migraine characteristics, and secondly, the effect of the presence of multiple triggers on the changes in migraine characteristics.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 352 migraine patients, including 315 (89.5%) female and 37 (10.5%) male, were included in the study. Migraine characteristics of the patients were questioned. Depending on the number of triggers that triggered migraine attacks, the patients were divided into three groups: those with four or fewer triggers (Group 1), those with five or six triggers (Group 2), and those with more than six triggers (Group 3).


Migraine frequency in Group 3 was significantly higher than in Group 2 and Group 1 (p=0.002 and p=0.001). There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of attack duration (p=0.219). Headache severity in Group 3 was significantly higher than in Group 2 and Group 1 (p=0.001 and p=0.001). The frequency of bilateral headache in Group 3 was significantly higher than in Group 2 and Group 1 (p=0.038 and p=0.018). Stress, food, bright light, cold, heat and odor triggers alone caused an increase in headache severity (p=0.023, p=0.029, p=0.010, p=0.002, p=0.022 and p=0.001) while exposure to excessive sound caused a significant increase in migraine frequency (p=0.001).


We demonstrated that an increase in the number of migraine triggers caused an increase in migraine frequency and headache severity. In the effective treatment of migraine in the presence of multiple triggers, avoidance for triggers that are harmful to a healthy life and learning to cope with triggers for other triggers should be applied together.

Keywords: Migraine, Headache, Trigger

Full Text (Turkish)