• prevalence;
  • migraine;
  • headache

Background.—Headache is one of the most frequently reported disorders in the general adult population. Despite the fact that this disorder is common, no official estimate of the prevalence of headache exists in Puerto Rico.

Purpose.—To examine the prevalence of headache and migraine, specifically, in Puerto Rico.

Methods.—A telephone survey of 1610 individuals was conducted. The telephone calls were distributed using the 1990 census adjusted to the population of Puerto Rico in 1998, and according to gender, geographical area, and age.

Results.—The prevalence of headache in Puerto Rico was 35.9% and migraine, in particular, 13.0%. When prevalence was fractionated by age, gender, and geographical areas, the prevalence of headache was similar for all ages, with females exhibiting a 2:1 preponderance over males. In the younger population (between 20 and 50 years of age), the female-male ratio for migraine was 3:1, and the prevalence for migraine was lower in the Metropolitan area.

Conclusion.—This study, the first of its type in Puerto Rico, demonstrates that headache (and migraine specifically) is a common disorder in this country.