University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Poster Gallery



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Masters in Public Health


Health Promotion and Administration




Dr. Laurie Larkin, PhD ; Dr. Phyllis Bryden, DrPH

Mentor Department

Health Promotion and Administration


According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015), 20.0% of women and 9.7% of men aged ≥18 years had a severe headache or migraine in the past 3 months in the United States. In a study among university students in Bangladesh, the overall prevalence of migraines was 21.4%. Migraine prevalence increases for females in puberty and decreases after menopause. Migraines are ranked as the second leading cause of disability worldwide. The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence of migraines and migraine triggers of a group of Kentucky college students. A total of 111 college students attending a regional Kentucky university completed the Migraine Headache Triggers Survey measuring migraine frequency and triggers. Results indicated that the prevalence of migraine headaches was 64%. The study showed a statistically significant (p<.05) relationship with skipping meals, and smoking or vaping (p<.05) whereas school-related stress (p=.07), and hormonal medication (p=.068) approached statistical significance. Participants suffering with migraine headaches (n=71; 64%) reported the most common trigger as lack of sleep (n=56; 78.9%), followed by skipping a meal (n=35; 49.3%), menses (n=33; 46.5%), smoking (n=7; 9.9%), and alcohol (n=6; 8.5%). Onset of migraines was most common at puberty and 40.9% (n=71) of migraineurs reported 1-5 headaches per month.

Keywords: migraine headache, migraine triggers, college students