Journal Article

Incidence of Primary Headache: A Danish Epidemiologic Follow-up Study

A. C. Lyngberg, B. K. Rasmussen, T. Jørgensen and R. Jensen

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 161, issue 11, pages 1066-1073
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Incidence of Primary Headache: A Danish Epidemiologic Follow-up Study

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The incidence of migraine in a general population has been assessed in few longitudinal studies, and the incidence of tension-type headache has never been assessed. The authors aimed to assess the incidence of migraine and tension-type headache in Denmark by conducting a 12-year follow-up study of a general population (1989–2001). The design and methods of follow-up replicated the baseline study exactly, including use of the International Headache Society's diagnostic criteria and administration of headache diagnostic interviews by a physician. Of 740 persons aged 25–64 years examined in 1989, 673 were eligible in 2001 and 549 (81.6%) participated. The incidence of migraine was 8.1 per 1,000 person-years (male:female ratio, 1:6), and the incidence of frequent tension-type headache was 14.2 per 1,000 person-years (male:female ratio, 1:3). Both rates decreased with age. The incidence of migraine was higher than that previously calculated from cross-sectional studies. Risk factors for migraine were familial disposition, no vocational education, a high work load, and frequent tension-type headache. For tension-type headache, risk factors were poor self-rated health, inability to relax after work, and sleeping few hours per night. The gender difference for tension-type headache differed from that for migraine, and no association with educational level was observed.

Keywords: epidemiologic studies; follow-up studies; headache; incidence; longitudinal studies; migraine; risk factors; tension headache

Journal Article.  5546 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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