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March 26, 2016
Table of Contents

1 Introduction
Headache Epidemiology



During a given year, 90% of people suffer from headaches. Of the ones seen in the ER, about 1% have a serious underlying problem.

Primary headaches account for more than 90% of all headache complaints, and of these, episodic tension-type headache is the most common.

It is estimated that women are three folds more prone than men to suffer from migraines. Also, the prevalence of this particular type of headache seems to vary depending on the specific area of the world where one lives. However, migraines appear to be experienced by 12% to 18% of the population.

Cluster headaches are thought to be affecting less than 0.5% of the population, though their prevalence is hard to estimate because they are often mistaken as a sinusal problem. However, according to the existent data, cluster headaches are more likely to occur in men than women, given that the condition tends to affect 5 to 8 times more men.


An 1819 caricature by George Cruikshank depicting a headache.

The first recorded classification system that resembles the modern ones was published by Thomas Willis, in De Cephalagia in 1672. In 1787 Christian Baur generally divided headaches into idiopathic (primary headaches) and symptomatic (secondary ones), and defined 84 categories.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Headache Epidemiology".

Last Modified:   2010-11-10

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