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Saudi Med J. 2005 Apr;26(4):566-70.

Pattern of headache in school children in the State of Qatar.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, PO Box 3050, Doha, State of Qatar.



The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence rate and impact of headache in school children on school attendance with particular attention to migraine.


A cross sectional survey was conducted among the school children ranging from 6-17 years old over a period from March 2001 to April 2003. The study was carried out in 10 primary, preparatory and secondary schools. Subjects were selected by multistage stratified sampling procedure. This involved 851 children studying in the first to tenth year of school in the State of Qatar.


The present study showed that the prevalence rate of recurrent headache was 85% and migraine 11.9%. Comparing gender frequency of headache, it was noted that it was higher in female students (86.5%) than males (81%). In respect of age, it was observed that the oldest children had more frequent episodes of headache, the highest rate was in the age group of 11-15 years old (49%). The most common triggers were fatigue (35.8%) and lack of sleep (17.6%). The most common symptoms that occurred before headache were change in mood for female students (39.1%) and blurred vision for males (34.6%). The impact of headache on children was frequent absence from school (80%), which affected their school performance.


The current study indicated the high prevalence of headache among school children in Qatar, and its effect on school attendance and performance.

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