In the study, children ages 6 to 18 who visited an emergency room for migraine headaches were about six times more likely to have experienced colic — or frequent, unexplained crying — as an infant compared with children who visited the emergency room for other reasons.
The association was specific for migraines — there was no link between typical, less severe tension headaches and the likelihood of experiencing colic as an infant.
The study adds to a growing body of research linking infant colic with migraines. For instance, a study presented last year at American Academy of Neurology meeting found that women who had migraines were about twice as likely as those without migraines to have babies with colic. (Migraines can run in families.)
The new findings suggest infant colic and migraines may be symptoms of the same underlying condition, said study researcher Dr. Luigi Titomanlio, of the pediatric emergency department at Robert Debré Hospital in Paris.
However, the study found only an association, and cannot prove that infant colic is an early sign of migraine headaches. And even if this were true, researchers don't know if colicky babies are experiencing head pain or some other type of discomfort.
Image: Crying baby, via Shutterstock