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Consumer Reports

Coffee habit brings on migraines? | (UPI) -- Scientists are studying whether a cup of coffee every morning can trigger a migraine headache, as some early evidence seems to indicate.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System say migraines affect 6 percent of men and 18 percent of women, most often between the ages of 25 to 55. Of this group, 60 percent have at least one fairly severe migraine every month, often so intense, it forces them to miss work.

"Migraines are a significant cause of disability in this country, resulting in an estimated $13 billion dollars in lost work hours each year," said neurologist Dr. Linda Selwa. Known medically as trimethylxanthine, caffeine has been linked to everything from sleepless nights and jitteriness to birth defects and breast cancer, she noted.

"Many of my patients have told me stories about needing caffeine when they feel a headache coming on or having headaches on the weekends when they haven't had their usual work-day amount of caffeine," Selwa said.

"In fact, caffeine is a key ingredient in almost all of the over-the-counter migraine medications. That's because caffeine is useful in stopping a headache once it starts. The unfortunate thing is that, in patients who use caffeine chronically, they're much more likely to get a migraine as the caffeine begins to wear off."

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