Migraine is a neurological disease characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. The pain is generally made worse by physical activity. Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. It is, however, believed to be a neurovascular disorder.
In a survey of risk factors for diseases in 1987/86, all the subjects between 20 and 56 years of age in the municipality of Tromsø were invited. The attenders were given a questionnaire about lifestyle, health, and psychosocial factors. Of the 18105 people who were given a questionnaire, 8537 men and 9162 women (97.7%) answered the questions about "non-migrainous headache", 8533 men and 9117 women (97.5%) answered the questions about neck or shoulder pain, and 8024 men and 7690 women (86.8%) the questions about migraine.
In the footballers, 22% of headaches conformed to the strict IHS definition of migraine headaches. When the relaxed definition of "footballer's migraine" was used, 34% of headaches met these criteria. Footballers were at significantly increased risk of footballer's migraine than community controls. Overall 9,944 participants (55.2%) responded (mean age 43 ± 13.1 years, 52.7% women). Headache frequency <15 days/month was reported by 5,350 (55.5%) .