Prevalence and factors affecting headache in Turkish schoolchildren


Resul Bugdayci, Mersin Üniversitesi Tip Fakültesi, Halk Sagligi Anabilim Dali Yeniehir Kampüsü, 33169 Mersin, Turkey. Email:


AbstractBackground: Headache is a public health problem affecting life quality negatively. The present cross-sectional, selective (2nd–5th grades) study was conducted to determine the prevalence of recurrent headache in schoolchildren in Mersin, a city of Turkey.

Methods: A stratified sample of 5777 students was selected to be representative of the city's schoolchildren population. After the data quality control process, the study sample was reduced to 5562 schoolchildren.

Result: The prevalence of recurrent headache was 49.2% (2739/5562). Among the studied population 24.7% had tension-type headache and 10.4% had migraine. Girls had significantly more frequent headache than boys. Binary logistic regression analysis found that increasing age, female gender, low socioeconomic status of family, low education level of mother, and positive family history of headache (father, mother, siblings, second degree relatives) had a statistically significant effect on the presence of headache in children. Additionally, having travel sickness had a statistically significant effect on schoolchildren headache (P = 0.000).

Conclusion: Headache is a common health problem among schoolchildren in Mersin, which merits increased attention and detailed multicentre epidemiological and clinical studies.