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Headache in primary Sjøgren's syndrome: a population-based retrospective cohort study


Correspondence: A. B. Tjensvoll, Department of Neurology, Stavanger University Hospital, PO Box 8100, N-4068 Stavanger, Norway (tel.: +47 05151; fax: +47 51519916; e-mail:



We investigated whether the prevalence of primary headaches was higher in patients with primary Sjøgren's syndrome (PSS) than in healthy individuals.


This retrospective cohort study included 71 patients with PSS (patients) based on the American European Consensus Classification criteria, and 71 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects (controls). Headaches were classified according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders. We measured depression with the Beck Depression Inventory, and fatigue with the Fatigue Severity Scale.


Fifty-one patients and 42 controls had headaches in the previous 12 months (71.8% vs. 59.2%, P = 0.10). Thirty-eight patients and 28 controls had tension type headaches (TTHs) (53.5% vs. 39.4%, P = 0.12). Eight patients (11.3%) and one control had chronic TTHs (P = 0.05). Migraines and migraines with aura were equally prevalent in patients (26.8% and 11.3%, respectively) and controls (28.2% and 15.5%, respectively; P = 0.61).


In general, patients did not have more migraines or headaches than controls. However, patients had more chronic TTHs than controls. Chronic TTHs were not associated with PSS-related autoantibodies, fatigue, depression, abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging or abnormalities in the cerebrospinal fluid. Patients with PSS did, however, have higher depression and fatigue scores than controls.