Despite a large body of literature on the association between the dietary inflammatory index (DII) and various chronic diseases, limited knowledge is available regarding the association between DII and migraine. Therefore, we assessed the relationship between the DII and migraine characteristics, including duration, frequency, and severity of migraine headaches, Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6), and serum levels of nitric oxide (NO). This population-based cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2019 to June 2020 among 262 patients (38 men and 224 women; 20-50 years). A 168-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was gathered to evaluate dietary intake, and subsequently, an energy-adjusted DII score was calculated. After controlling for potential confounders, an increase of 3.48 in headache frequency was observed when the DII score increased from - 4.04 to - 1.83 (β = 3.48; 95% CI 1.43, 5.54). In the crude model, headache duration tended to be inversely associated with DII in the subjects with the pro-inflammatory diet compared to those with the anti-inflammatory diet (β = - 0.22; 95% CI - 0.46, 0.02). After adjustment for confounders, those with the highest DII values were at a higher risk of severe headaches than those with the lowest values (OR = 2.25; 95% CI 1.17, 4.32). No other significant results were found in terms of the association between DII and HIT-6 or serum NO levels. We found evidence suggesting that higher adherence to a diet with anti-inflammatory properties was significantly and inversely related to headache frequency. Furthermore, our results suggest that the DII score is substantially related to migraine severity.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 12, article no. 2878.

© 2022 The Author(s)

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This study was funded by Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.