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Cephalalgia. 2014 May;34(6):473-8. doi: 10.1177/0333102413515346. Epub 2013 Dec 11.

Monthly variation of United States pediatric headache emergency department visits.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, CO, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this article is to determine the monthly variation of emergency department (ED) visits for pediatric headache. We hypothesized youth have increased headache-related ED visits in the months associated with school attendance.

METHODS:

Using a United States representative sample of ED visits in the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 1997 to 2009, we estimated number of visits associated with ICD-9 codes related to headache, migraine, status migrainosus, or tension-type headache in 5- to 18-year-olds. Age-stratified multivariate models are presented for month of visit (July as reference).

RESULTS:

There was a national estimate of 250,000 ED visits annually related to headache (2.1% of total visits) in 5- to 18-year-olds. In 5- to 11-year-olds, the adjusted rate of headache-related visits was lower in April (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.20, 0.88). In 12- to 18-year-olds, there were higher rates in January (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.16, 3.14) and September (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.06, 2.55).

CONCLUSIONS:

In adolescents we found higher ED utilization in January and September, the same months associated with school return from vacation for a majority of children nationally. No significant reduction in the summer suggests that school itself is not the issue, but rather changes in daily lifestyle and transitions.

KEYWORDS:

Pediatric; emergency department; headache; school; sleep; stress

PMID:
24335850
DOI:
10.1177/0333102413515346
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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