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Headache in Schoolchildren: Epidemiology, Pain Comorbidity and Psychosocial Factors
Uppsala University, Medicinska vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Neurology.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Headache is the most frequently reported pain in children and is associated with missed schooldays, anxiety, depressive symptoms and various physical symptoms. A secular trend of increasing headache prevalence has been suggested. Few studies have focused on tension-type headache among children from the general population.

The aims of this thesis were to describe the prevalence, incidence and prognosis of tension-type headache, migraine and overall headache in schoolchildren, to identify medical, psychological and social factors associated with these headache types, and to determine whether the prevalence of headache has increased over the last decades.

In 1997, 1850 schoolchildren aged 7-15 years from the city of Uppsala participated in a questionnaire study and 1371 (74.1%) responded. Out of these, a randomly selected, stratified sample of 131 children and their parents were interviewed. Three years later, 122 children from the interview sample replied to an identical headache questionnaire.

Compared with a similar study in 1955, a significantly lower proportion of schoolchildren reported no headache. The prevalence of tension-type headache increased with age and was significantly higher in girls than boys after the age of twelve. Similar age and gender differences were obtained for migraine. A higher proportion of girls reported frequent headache than boys. Children with headache, especially those with migraine, as well as their first-degree relatives suffered from other pains and physical symptoms more frequently than headache-free children and their first-degree relatives. Although the likelihood of experiencing the same headache diagnosis and symptoms at follow-up was high, about one fifth of children with migraine developed tension-type headache and vice versa. Female gender was a predictor of migraine and frequent headache a predictor of overall headache at follow-up. The estimated annual incidence for tension-type headache, migraine and overall headache was 81, 65 and 131 per 1000 children, respectively.

In conclusion, the results indicate that headache has become increasingly common among schoolchildren over the last decades. Prevention and treatment of headache is particularly important for girls since they have high prevalence of headache, frequent headache episodes and a poor outcome. In children with headache, diagnoses and treatment should be reassessed regularly and other pains should be asked about and treated as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2005. , p. 60
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 52
Keywords [en]
Neurosciences, Children, Headache, Tension-type headache, Migraine, Prevalence, Incidence, Prognosis, Pain, Psychosocial factors
Keywords [sv]
Neurovetenskap
National Category
Neurology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-5850ISBN: 91-554-6285-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-5850DiVA, id: diva2:166624
Public defence
2005-06-07, Rosénsalen, ing 95, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala, 09:15
Opponent
Available from: 2005-05-17 Created: 2005-05-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Headache in schoolchildren:agreement between different sources of information
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Headache in schoolchildren:agreement between different sources of information
2003 In: Cephalalgia, ISSN 0333-1024, Vol. 23, p. 420-428Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93208 (URN)
Available from: 2005-05-17 Created: 2005-05-17Bibliographically approved
2. Prevalence of headache in Swedish schoolchildren, with a focus on tension-type headache
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prevalence of headache in Swedish schoolchildren, with a focus on tension-type headache
2004 In: Cephalalgia, ISSN 0333-1024, Vol. 24, p. 380-388Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93209 (URN)
Available from: 2005-05-17 Created: 2005-05-17Bibliographically approved
3. Headache in schoolchildren: association with other pain, family history and psychosocial factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Headache in schoolchildren: association with other pain, family history and psychosocial factors
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93210 (URN)
Available from: 2005-05-17 Created: 2005-05-17Bibliographically approved
4. A 3-year follow-up of headache diagnoses and symptoms in Swedish schoolchildren
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A 3-year follow-up of headache diagnoses and symptoms in Swedish schoolchildren
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93211 (URN)
Available from: 2005-05-17 Created: 2005-05-17Bibliographically approved

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