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Pediatrics. 1999 Jun;103(6):e80.

School start and occurrence of headache.

Author information

  • 1Department of Child Neurology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. pirjoa.anttila@pp.fimnet.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of the study was to examine the occurrence of childhood headache at the start of school.

STUDY DESIGN:

An unselected population-based population-based questionnaire study on the occurrence of headache was conducted in 1433 children between the ages of 6 and 7 years old (ranging from 6 years 8 months to 7 years 8 months) who started school in 1992. The first questionnaire was given within 3 months of school entry in 1992. Of 1433 children, 1290 responded satisfactorily to the second headache questionnaire at the end of the second school year. The children (n = 725) who had had headache in 1994 were sent a more detailed questionnaire concerning risk factors of headache.

RESULTS:

A significant increase in the incidence density of overall headache in children was found during the first 12 school months compared with the 6 months immediately before school started or with the subsequent 6 school months (13th-18th month). The increase was attributable to occasional headache. During the first school months, the frequency of headache increased in 20% of children who had had headache before the 6 months preceding the start of school. The mothers and fathers of 129 children who started to have headache after school entry had a higher socioeconomic status than the mothers and fathers of children who had headache before the start of school. No significant difference in family history of headache or school-related factors was found among children. Predictably, the incidence density of recurrent headache after school start was higher than before school start. However, occasional headache showed a distinct peak at school start but regained its initial level at the end of the second school year.

CONCLUSION:

School start appears to increase the incidence of overall headache (occasional headache in particular) in children, independent of other factors.

PMID:
10353977
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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