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Neurology. 2007 Sep 11;69(11):1169-77.

Head or neck injury increases the risk of chronic daily headache: a population-based study.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Oklahoma Medical School, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the extent to which head and neck injury (HANI) contributes to chronic daily headache (CDH).

BACKGROUND:

In prospective studies, head injury is associated with headache (HA) that remains a problem at 12 to 24 months post-head injury in 20 to 30% of patients. Of these, up to 30 to 50% manifest CDH. The degree to which head injury contributes to CDH has not been evaluated in a non-clinical population. We evaluate the relationship between lifetime occurrence of HANI and CDH in a randomly chosen population sample.

METHODS:

Study participants are from the Frequent Headache Epidemiology Study. Cases with CDH (> or =180 HA/year) and a comparison group with episodic headache (EH, 2 to 102 HA/year) were identified from the general population. Subjects were asked about lifetime occurrence of HANI. HANI were further classified as potentially precipitating injuries (PPI) if they occurred within 2 years of CDH onset for cases or in an equivalent 2-year period for EH controls.

RESULTS:

Lifetime occurrence of HANI was more frequent in cases than controls for men (adjusted OR = 3.1 [1.3 to 7.2]), women (OR = 1.5 [0.97 to 2.3]), and overall (OR = 1.7 [1.1 to 2.4]). The attributable risk was 15% (36% men, 11% women). Results were similar for PPI. The odds of CDH increased with the number of lifetime HANI in all groups (p < 0.05 trend).

CONCLUSIONS:

Results suggest that head and neck injury (HANI) accounts for approximately 15% of chronic daily headache (CDH) cases in this non-clinical population. The relationship between HANI and CDH was not limited to injuries proximate to CDH onset. The lifetime risk of CDH increases with increasing number of HANI.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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