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West Afr J Med. 1997 Oct-Dec;16(4):208-17.

Childhood migraine in Nigeria--I: A community-based study.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.


The prevalence rate and other aspects of migraine were investigated among school children (aged 6-13 years) in Enugu. The diagnosis of migraine was made by means of a questionnaire completed by parents which was based on the criteria proposed by Prensky and Sommer, and was further confirmed by personal interview of the parents in their homes. A prevalence rate of 6.8% was found among the 4,398 schoolchildren studied. More girls were affected than boys (158 and 140 respectively). Most (88.4%) of the children had their first attack by 10 years of age. Attacks occurred mostly in the afternoon, with sunlight and exercise as the most important trigger factors. Headache of a throbbing nature, sensory aura and relief after sleep were the commonest symptoms. Clinical examination was abnormal in only one child who had paralytic poliomyelitis, but EEG abnormalities were found in 51.1% of the children who had the test. The study revealed a hitterto unrecognised high level of morbidity from migraine among school children in Enugu, resulting in a disturbingly high incidence of school absenteeism.

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