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Tohoku J Exp Med. 2006 Jan;208(1):87-92.

Prevalence and clinical characteristics of migraine in university students in Turkey.

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Department of Neurology, Kocatepe University School of Medicine, Afyon, Turkey.


Migraine is a significant health problem due to its frequency and accompanying morbidity, which includes disability and loss of performance. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of migraine and assess the disability and preferences of treatment among university students in Afyon, a Turkish city. This is the first cross-sectional prevalence study of migraine conducted on university students in Turkey. The study has been carried out in two stages. The first stage aimed to identify the students with migraine by using a standardized International Headache Society (IHS) questionnaire. In this questionnaire, the students were asked about medical consultations and medicines used during attacks. The standard questionnaire was applied to 1,029 students, and migraine was found in 128 students (12.4%). Of these headache sufferers, 104 students were using non-prescribed drugs during headache attacks, while the remaining 24 students were using the drugs on advice of physicians. At the second stage, we evaluated the impact of disease on daily life in these students by the Migraine Disability Assessment Scale (MIDAS) questionnaire, showing that the degrees of disability are minimal in 11 students (8.6%), mild in 30 students (23.4%), moderate in 34 students (26.6%), and severe in 53 students (41.4%). In conclusion, migraine attacks are associated with a considerable degree of handicap in activities of daily living. However, many university students with migraine do not consult a physician and continue to treat their headaches with simple analgesics. Global educational programs are required for patients to recognize the importance of effective migraine treatment.

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