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Hungarian Migraine Epidemiology


Address all correspondence to Dr. J. Bánk, Kenezy Gyula, Korhaz, Idegosztaly, Debrecen, Bartok Bela u.3, 4031 Hungary.


Objective.–A population-based epidemiological survey of migraine without aura and migraine with aura completed by mailed questionnaire in Hungary. The diagnosis and classification of migraine was according to the criteria of the International Headache Society.

Methods.–The validity of the self-administered headache questionnaire was evaluated by a neurologist using clinical interviews. The study population was a random sample of 2000 men and women aged between 15 and 80 years. The questionnaire was completed by 813 of 1910 people (392 men and 421 women), providing a 42.6% participation rate.

Results.–Sixty-seven percent of these people experienced some kind of headache during their lives. The 1-year prevalence of migraine without aura was 7.6% (the female/male ratio was 3:1), while the 1-year prevalence of migraine with aura was 2% (female/male ratio was 2:1). Most migraineurs experienced headache attacks 1 to 4 times monthly, which lasted 24 hours. The most characteristic accompanying signs were nausea and phonophobia. Stress, sleep deprivation, hot weather, and fasting were the most common precipitating factors of a migraine attack. In the migraine with aura group, the most common aura was a visual disturbance. Only 43% of migraineurs had ever consulted a physician for headache, and only 15% of patients had missed work or school because of a migraine attack in the previous year. Most of the patients suffering from migraine without aura were between 20 and 40 years old, while migraineurs with aura were over 40 years old. According to this investigation, the prevalence of migraine was not lower than in Western countries.