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Neuroepidemiology. 1995;14(2):82-91.

Prevalence of migraine and other headaches in Hong Kong.

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  • 1Department of Community and Family Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong.


From July 1992 to March 1993, we conducted a community-based prevalence survey of migraine and other types of recurrent headache by a telephone interview of 2,240 households with 7,356 persons aged 15 and above. 311 patients with recurrent headache were successfully interviewed. Of these, 101 were clinically validated. The overall prevalence rates were 1% for migraine, 2% for tension-type headache and 1% for unclassified headache. Adjusted for misclassification and non-response, the estimated prevalence rates for the three categories were 1.5, 3 and 0.4%, respectively. Agreement between clinical method and questionnaire interview was good for migraine, fair for tension-type headache and poor for unclassified headache. For all three types of recurrent headache, there was a female preponderance with a peak in the 25-44 age group. The prevalence of migraine was much lower than in Western communities but higher than that found in mainland China [1-8]. Common predisposing and aggravating factors for all three types of headaches as reported by the patients were mental stress, physical exertion and menstruation among females. Despite the low prevalence, the overall socioeconomic impact to a populous community is considerable.

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