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Keywords:

  • Cluster headache;
  • socioeconomic impact

The aim was to analyse the socioeconomic burden of cluster headache in patients from a tertiary headache centre. One hundred consecutive patients from the Danish Headache Centre were invited to an interview about the socioeconomic impact of cluster headache. Work absence and use of medical services were compared with a Danish population-based survey. Eighty-five patients participated; 78% reported restrictions in daily living and 13% also outside of cluster periods; 25% reported a major decrease in their ability to participate in social activities, family life and housework. The disease caused lifestyle changes for 96%, most frequently in sleeping habits and avoidance of alcohol. The absence rate among patients was 30%, which was significantly higher than 12% among the general population (< 0.001). Use of health services due to headache was also higher among the patients (< 0.001). Cluster headache, although periodic in most cases, has considerable impact on social functions, quality of life and use of healthcare.