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Ann Saudi Med. 1998 Nov-Dec;18(6):522-4.

Prevalence of headache and migraine in schoolchildren in the United Arab Emirates.

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  • 1Departments of Community Medicine, Pscyhiatry, Family Medicine and Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.



The aim of this report was to study the prevalence of headache and migraine among schoolchildren in the United Arab Emirates, and to determine the relationship between headache and various factors, with special emphasis on migraine, and the impact of headache on school attendance.


A cross-section population study was performed over a period between October 1995 and June 1996. Subjects were selected by multistage stratified sampling procedure. Data was collected by screening questionnaires followed by clinical interviews. This involved children of 12 primary schools in AlAin, Dubai, and Sharjah Emirates, for a total of 1159 schoolchildren.


The prevalence rate of headache was estimated to be 36.9%, and for migraine 3.8%. The study showed that the prevalence of headache increases with age, the highest rate being among 13-year-olds (17.5%).


The prevalence rate of headache and migraine in our study was similar to that found in other parts of the world. However, cultural and social factors may play a role in determining the incidence rate in this region.

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