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East Afr Med J. 1992 Apr;69(4):196-9.

Prevalence of headache and migrainous headache in Nigerian Africans: a community-based study.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.


In a door-to-door survey in a Nigerian town with stable population of about twenty thousand, 18,594 subjects were screened with a questionnaire, which involved a complete census, administered by non-doctor, including primary health care personnel. Migrainous headache was diagnosed on the basis of combination of responses to the questionnaire shown in a pilot study validated by neurological examination to have 92% sensitivity and 99% specificity. Crude life time prevalence ratio of at least one episode of headache unspecified was 51 percent (50% in males and 52% in females). The crude prevalence ratio of migrainous headache was 5.3 per 100 (5 per 100 in males and 5.6 per 100 in females), with peak age-specific prevalence ratios in the first decade in both males and females. Migrainous headache was three times as common in females as in males in the second and third decades. Prevalence of migrainous headache in Nigerian Africans appears less than in Caucasians. No social status was at special risk to developing migrainous headache.

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