Headache in children: prevalence and comorbidities

No child should have to suffer with severe headache. Unfortunately, in this survey of American children ages 4 to 17, 17% were found to have experienced a severe headache in the last 12 months.

Fortunately, many with migraine at a young age will “outgrow” their headaches.

However, those who do not will likely suffer a more severe course through adulthood, and are at higher risk of developing chronic migraine.

The publication:

J Child Neurol. 2009 May;24(5):536-43.

Headache in a national sample of American children: prevalence and comorbidity.

Lateef TM, Merikangas KR, He J, Kalaydjian A, Khoromi S, Knight E, Nelson KB.

Summary of the abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence, sociodemographic correlates, and comorbidity of recurrent headache in children in the United States.

Frequent or severe headaches including migraine in the past 12 months were reported in 17.1% of children. Asthma, hay fever, and frequent ear infections were more common in children with headache, with at least 1 of these occurring in 41.6% of children with headache versus 25.0% of children free of headache.

Other medical problems associated with childhood headaches include anemia, overweight, abdominal illnesses, and early menarche. Recurrent headache in childhood is common and has significant medical comorbidity.


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