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Pain. 2005 Dec 15;119(1-3):150-8. Epub 2005 Nov 17.

Headache in schoolchildren: association with other pain, family history and psychosocial factors.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


Limited information exist about associations between different headache types and other pains, family history of pain, and psychosocial factors among children from the general population suffering from less severe headache. We interviewed 130 schoolchildren together with a parent to find out whether such factors differ between children with mainly infrequent and moderate migraine or tension-type headache as compared to those without primary headache. Children with headache, especially those with migraine reported other pains and physical symptoms more frequently than children without primary headache. Coherently, parents of children suffering from migraine reported their children to have significantly more somatic symptoms than parents of children without primary headache. In addition, first-degree relatives of children with headache suffered from more migraine, other pains, and physical symptoms compared with first-degree relatives of children without primary headache. Children with migraine visited the school nurse, used medication and were absent from school because of headache more often than those with tension-type headache. Few other differences in psychosocial factors were found between the three groups. Migraine among first-degree relatives and the total sum of physical symptoms in children were the strongest predictors of headache in logistic regression analysis. It is concluded that in schoolchildren with mainly infrequent and moderate headache, pain and physical symptoms cluster within individuals as well as their families, however, psychological and social problems are uncommon.

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