Frequency, character and predisposing factor of headache among students of medical college of Karachi

J Pak Med Assoc. 2016 Feb;66(2):159-64.


Objective: To evaluate the frequency, predisposing factors and symptomatology of headache among medical students.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted from September to December 2013 and comprised students of two medical colleges of Karachi. International Classification of Headache Disorder-II criterion was used to diagnose and classify headache. SPSS 17 was used for statistical analysis.

Results: Of the 413 medical students studies, 326(79%) had tension type headache, and 87 (21%) had migraine. Headache was more frequent among females than males, with a ratio of 6.5:1. Both types of headache were significantly associated with self-reported disturbed sleep pattern, stress and various triggering factors (p<0.05 each). Both types greatly influenced individual's daily life with significant association with avoiding academics, extra-curricular activities, family and friends (p<0.05 each). High self-medication rate of 400(96.9%) was observed.

Conclusions: The prevalence of headache among medical students was high with female predominance. Infrequent consultation needs to be addressed through awareness programmes.

Keywords: Headache, Migraine, Medical students, Tension-type headache, Frequency..

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Causality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Migraine Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Migraine Disorders* / psychology
  • Migraine Disorders* / therapy
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Self Medication / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress, Psychological* / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological* / physiopathology
  • Students, Medical* / psychology
  • Students, Medical* / statistics & numerical data
  • Tension-Type Headache* / diagnosis
  • Tension-Type Headache* / epidemiology
  • Tension-Type Headache* / psychology
  • Tension-Type Headache* / therapy
  • Young Adult