Chronic daily headache in Taipei, Taiwan: prevalence, follow-up and outcome predictors


Shuu-Jiun Wang, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, 11217, Taiwan. Tel. +886 2 28762522, fax +886 2 28765215, e-mail


We conducted a two-stage population-based headache survey among subjects aged ≥15 in Taipei, Taiwan. Subjects with chronic daily headache (CDH) in the past year were identified, interviewed and followed-up. CDH was defined as a headache frequency > 15 days/month, with a duration > 4 h/day. Of the 3377 participants, 108 (3.2%) fulfilled the criteria for CDH, with a higher prevalence in women (4.3%) than men (1.9%). TM was the most common subtype (55%), followed by CTTH (44%). Thirty-four per cent of the CDH subjects overused analgesics. At the 2-year follow-up, 35% of the CDH subjects still had CDH. The significant predictors for persistent CDH at follow-up included: older age (≥ 40 years) (RR = 2.4), CDH onset after 32 years (RR = 1.8), CDH duration ≥6 years (RR = 2.0), medication overuse (RR = 1.8), and ‘daily’ headache (RR = 2.1). We found that CDH is not uncommon in the community and its prevalence is similar among different populations. Older subjects and those with medication overuse may have a more protracted course of illness.