South-East Asia region

K Ravishankar

in Headache care, research and education worldwide

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199584680
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191753435 | DOI:

Series: Frontiers in Headache Research Series

South-East Asia region

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It is well established that headache disorders are common and cause significant disability but they still continue to be under-diagnosed and under-treated. Primary headaches are more chronic, complex, and contribute largely to the burden of headache. Among all headache disorders, probably because of its disabling nature, migraine has received the most attention and is well established as the main cause of headache burden worldwide. Other primary headaches may be more common, but population-based data on their prevalence are not well-documented. Migraine prevalence and management strategies differ across regions of the world depending on factors such as genes, geography, environment, culture, and lifestyle. Furthermore, owing to differences in level of awareness, attitude, interest, and focus, the burden of headache varies across regions of the world.

With the aim of addressing the burden of headache worldwide, in 2004, three major international headache organizations—the World Headache Alliance (WHA), the International Headache Society (IHS), and the European Headache Federation (EHF) collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) to launch the ‘Global Campaign to Reduce the Burden of Headache Worldwide’ (LTB Campaign). The details of this seven-step campaign have been outlined by Steiner in his commentary on the Global Campaign. One of the key steps in the LTB campaign is to establish a worldwide observatory of headache to obtain a clear and objective understanding of the scale and scope of headache related burden across the globe.

The present chapter discusses factors that affect the burden of headache from the South-East Asia region and highlights several regional factors that have an influence on the worldwide burden of headache. The aim of this chapter is to appraise the international headache community and the policy-developers of the LTB global campaign of these additional ‘Barriers to Care’ in this region. It also emphasizes the need for adoption of region-specific guidelines to reduce the burden of headache worldwide. With a focus on India, which has the second largest population in the world and the highest in the South-East Asia region, the differences in regional epidemiology, clinical presentations, and public health challenges have been outlined.

Chapter.  2559 words. 

Subjects: Neurology

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