Epidemiology of headache in children and adolescents: Evidence of high prevalence of migraine among girls under 10

  • R. Pothmann
  • S. V. Frankenberg
  • B. Müllcr
  • G. Sartory
  • W. Hellmeier


An epidemiological study was carried out among schoolchildren from three “forms” (grades) corresponding to ages 8 to 9 years, 12 to 13 years, and 15 to 16 years, respectively. Two representative samples, totaling 4,835, were extracted from the children, who completed the questionnaires in the urban district of Wupperlal and the adjacent, more rural area of Mettmann in Germany. The prevalence of headache was 83% among younger children and rose to 93% among older children. Children in the rural area had a lower prevalence than those in the urban area. According to International Headache Society (IHS) diagnostic criteria (IHS, 1988), 48.5% of children suffered from tension-type headache, 11% suffered from migraine, and the remaining 29% were not classifiable. More girls than boys reported migraine symptoms. Unlike previous reports, the prevalence of migraine was as high among 8-year-olds as it was among the two older age gToups. It is thought that the results are due to the high prevalence of paretic symptoms reported by the youngest age group. These have not been assessed in previous studies.

Key words

epidemiology headache migraine tension-type headache children adolescents 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Pothmann
    • 1
  • S. V. Frankenberg
    • 2
  • B. Müllcr
    • 2
  • G. Sartory
    • 2
    • 4
  • W. Hellmeier
    • 3
  1. 1.Pediatric ClinicWuppertalGermany
  2. 2.University of WuppertalGermany
  3. 3.Institute of DocumentationBielefeldGermany
  4. 4.University of WuppertalWuppertalGermany

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