New research suggests that teenagers who are overweight due to lack of exercise and who smoke regularly are more likely to get chronic headaches like migraine.

Data from the study conducted in Norway revealed that teens who had all the above factors were three time more likely to have frequent headaches than their counterparts with normal weight and those who did not smoke.

John-Anker Zwart of the University of Oslo, who led the research group, suggests that more than five percent of teenage boys and about eight percent of girls have reported getting frequent migraines.

The study, which was published in the medical journal Neurology, analyzed data from a group of more than 6,000 students in Norway aged between 13 and 18. These students were asked questions about headache history, their smoking and quantum of exercise.

An earlier study conducted in Poland among older teenagers had suggested that more than 28 per cent reported of having migraine type headaches at a regular frequency. The Norwegian research is the first to examine individual impact of negative lifestyle factors.

The researchers revealed that one in five teens accepted to being smokers, 16 percent were overweight and 31 percent reported exercising less than twice a week. While more than one-third of the girls reported headaches in the past year, the figure among boys was lower at 21 percent.

The team that conducted the study indicated that there was still no clarity whether negative lifestyle factors caused the headaches or were merely triggers in a vulnerable section of the population.

Earlier research had suggested that teenagers having migraine usually inherit it from one of the parents, though it was suggested at that time that environmental influences caused these headaches to be expressed more frequently.

The study conducted in the United States last year had revealed that overweight children who complained of migraine suffered fewer instances of the headache after they lost weight.