An epidemiologic study of headache among adolescents and young adults

JAMA. 1989 Apr 21;261(15):2211-6.


Despite extensive description of headache among patients in specialty clinics and general practices in the United States, there have been few community-wide investigations. In a population-based telephone interview study of 10,169 Washington County, Maryland, residents who were 12 through 29 years old, 57.1% of males and 76.5% of females reported that their most recent headache occurred within the previous 4 weeks. Four or more headaches in the preceding month were reported by 6.1% of males and 14.0% of females. The average duration of the subjects' most recent headache was 5.9 hours for males and 8.2 hours for females; 7.9% and 13.9%, respectively, missed part of a day or more of school or work because of that headache. Within the month before interview, 3.0% of males and 7.4% of females had suffered from a migraine headache. Consultations with a physician, by specialty, for headache-related problems are described by sex and age of subjects, as is the use of specific prescription and nonprescription medications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Headache / complications
  • Headache / drug therapy
  • Headache / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Maryland
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors