Chronic Daily Headache Often Subsides in Adolescents

But as many as one-quarter of patients may have disability or daily headaches into young adulthood

THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- In most adolescents with chronic daily headache, symptoms decline over time, but about one-quarter of patients may still experience headache-related disability or daily headaches as young adults, according to a study published online July 15 in Neurology.

Shuu-Jiun Wang, M.D., of Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues established a field sample of 122 adolescents ages 12 to 14 in 2000, assessed them in 2001 and 2002, and re-interviewed them in 2008. A total of 103 subjects completed the study.

At the study's conclusion, the researchers found that average monthly headache frequency had declined to 4.7 days. However, they also found that 28 (27.2 percent) patients still had moderate-to-severe headache disability, and that 12 (12 percent) still met the criteria for chronic daily headache. Of these, 10 had chronic migraine and two overused medications.

"Migraine history was a major factor in evolution of chronic daily headache into young adulthood," the authors conclude. "Early onset and longer duration of chronic daily headache implied a protracted disease course."

Authors of the study reported financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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