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Neurol Sci. 2010 Jun;31 Suppl 1:S145-7. doi: 10.1007/s10072-010-0311-8.

Population-based pace study: lifetime and past-year prevalence of headache in adults.

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  • 1Headache Centre, Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma, c/o Ospedale Maggiore, Via Gramsci 14, 43126, Parma, Italy.


Primary headache prevalence in the adult Italian general population has been little studied so far. This is an observational, cross-sectional, population-based study conducted in a subject sample that was representative of the city of Parma's general population >or=age 18. The lifetime prevalence of headache was 69.1%, i.e. 75.8% in women and 60.6% in men; the past-year prevalence of headache was 42.8%, i.e. 52.0% in women and 31.1% in men. Most people suffer from one headache subtype. Headache past-year prevalence decreases with age, both in men and in women. After 60, the likelihood of suffering from headache is low. In more than 80% of cases, headache starts before age 40 and, therefore, it is not very likely for people to develop headache at an advanced age (>50 years). This is the first population-based study conducted in Italy on a sample aged >or=18 since the publication of the IHS diagnostic criteria in 1988.

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