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Cephalalgia. 2013 Oct;33(13):1106-16. doi: 10.1177/0333102413484990. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Prevalence, clinical characteristics and disability of migraine and probable migraine: a nationwide population-based survey in Korea.

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Department of Neurology, Eulji University School of Medicine, Republic of Korea.



Epidemiological data on probable migraine (PM) in Asia have rarely been reported. This study aimed to assess the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and disability of PM in comparison with strict migraine (SM) in Korea.


The Korean Headache Survey (KHS) is a nationwide interview survey that investigates the status of headache disorders among adults aged 19-69. We used data from the KHS.


In a representative sample of 1507 individuals, the one-year prevalence of SM was 6.0%, and that of PM was 11.5%. Most PM sufferers missed the criterion of typical headache duration (82.0%). Multivariable regression analyses revealed that PM sufferers had an increased odds ratio (OR) for mild headache intensity (OR = 2.08; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-3.90) and decreased ORs for living in a small city (OR = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.26-0.94), living in a rural area (OR = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.14-0.92) and headache frequency five to nine days per month (OR = 0.29; 95% CI: 0.11-0.78) compared to SM sufferers. Some SM and PM sufferers experienced decreased activity (26.4% in SM vs. 18.0% in PM) and missed activity (12.1% in SM vs. 14.4% in PM) due to headache.


PM is a prevalent headache disorder in Korea. Some sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of PM are different from those of SM.


Headache; disability; epidemiology; migraine; probable migraine

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