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Impact of Migraine and Tension-Type Headache on Life-Style, Consulting Behaviour, and Medication Use: A Canadian Population Survey

  • John Edmeads (a1), Helen Findlay (a1), Peter Tugwell (a1), William Pryse-Phillips (a1), R.F. Nelson (a1) and T.J. Murray (a1)...

Abstract:

A large sample of Canadian adults was surveyed by telephone to determine the prevalence and characterization of headache, and the effects of headache on life-style, consulting behaviours and medication use. We reported prevalence and characterization in a previous issue; here, we detail the effects of headaches on sufferers. Sixteen and one-half percent of adult Canadians experience migraine and 29% tension-type headaches. In over 70% of headache sufferers interpersonal relationships are impaired. Regular activities are limited in 78% of migraine attacks and 38% of tension-type headaches. Despite this, only 64% of migraine and 45% of tension-type headache sufferers had ever sought medical attention, and of these only 32% returned for ongoing care. Fourteen percent of migraine and 8% of tension-type headache sufferers had used emergency departments. Most headache sufferers take medication, primarily over-the-counter varieties. Measures to reach the headache population are needed, as are safe effective treatment options that will encourage them to participate in their medical care.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Division of Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Room A460, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4N 3M5

References

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1.Pryse-Phillips, W, Findlay, H, Tugwell, P. et al.A Canadian population survey on the clinical, epidemiologic and societal impact of migraine and tension-type headache. Can J Neurol Sci 1992; 19: 333339.
2.Statistics Canada Census 1986.
3.Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Manual.
4.Stewart, WF, Lipton, RB, Celentano, DD, Reed, ML. Prevalence of migraine headache in the United States: relation to age, income, race, and other sociodemographic factors. JAMA 1992; 267: 6469.
5.Wadsworth, M, Butterfield, W, Blaney, R. Health and Sickness: The Choice of Treatment. London: Travistock 1971; 32.
6.Rapoport, AM. Analgesic rebound headache. Headache 1988; 28: 662665.
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Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
  • ISSN: 0317-1671
  • EISSN: 2057-0155
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-neurological-sciences
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