• Headache;
  • tension-type headache;
  • prevalence;
  • Tanzania

Winkler AS, Stelzhammer B, Kerschbaumsteiner K, Meindl M, Dent W, Kaaya J, Matuja W & Schmutzhard E. The prevalence of headache with emphasis on tension-type headache in rural Tanzania: a community-based study. Cephalalgia 2009. London. ISSN 0333-1024

The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of headache with special attention to tension-type headache (TTH) in a rural area in northern Tanzania. A door-to-door study was performed using a standardized and validated questionnaire. A total of 7412 participants were screened. The total headache prevalence during the past year was 12.1%; the overall 1-year prevalence of TTH was 7%; 5% reported episodic TTH and 0.4% chronic TTH. Borderline cases (International Headache Society code 2.3) were described in 1.6%. The prevalence of headache was highest in the 41–50-year-old group in women and in the 61+ age group in men. This is the first account of the prevalence of TTH in a rural Tanzanian population, and shows that headache in general and, more specifically, TTH are prevalent disorders that deserve attention. However, the prevalence of primary headache seems to be lower than in Western countries.