ADHD is associated with migraine: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Haitham Salem, David Vivas, Fei Cao, Iram F. Kazimi, Antonio L. Teixeira, Cristian P. Zeni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


An association between primary headaches and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has long been suggested. Moreover, headache is regarded as a common side effect of stimulants, the most effective treatment for ADHD. So far, no systematic review has evaluated the potential association between ADHD and headache. We performed a systematic review of the literature and a meta-analysis of all reported studies on ADHD and primary headaches. Our analysis showed a positive association between ADHD and migraine (OR 1.322, 95% CI 1.018–1717, p value 0.036), but not with tension-type headache. There is a significant association between migraine and ADHD. The mechanisms underlying this association remain to be elucidated, warranting further studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Headache
  • Meta-analysis
  • Migraine
  • Stimulants
  • Tension-type headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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