Lifetime Prevalence of Migraine and Other Headaches Lasting 4 or More Hours: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

Authors

  • April L. Perry Carson MSPH,

    1. From the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ms. Carson and Drs. Rose, Ephross, and Stang); the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Ms. Sanford); GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr. Ephross); Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, Pa (Dr. Stang); the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr. Hunt); the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Dr. Brown); and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr. Szklo).
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  • Kathryn M. Rose PhD,

    1. From the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ms. Carson and Drs. Rose, Ephross, and Stang); the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Ms. Sanford); GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr. Ephross); Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, Pa (Dr. Stang); the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr. Hunt); the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Dr. Brown); and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr. Szklo).
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  • Catherine P. Sanford MSPH,

    1. From the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ms. Carson and Drs. Rose, Ephross, and Stang); the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Ms. Sanford); GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr. Ephross); Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, Pa (Dr. Stang); the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr. Hunt); the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Dr. Brown); and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr. Szklo).
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  • Sara A. Ephross PhD,

    1. From the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ms. Carson and Drs. Rose, Ephross, and Stang); the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Ms. Sanford); GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr. Ephross); Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, Pa (Dr. Stang); the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr. Hunt); the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Dr. Brown); and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr. Szklo).
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  • Paul E. Stang PhD,

    1. From the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ms. Carson and Drs. Rose, Ephross, and Stang); the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Ms. Sanford); GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr. Ephross); Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, Pa (Dr. Stang); the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr. Hunt); the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Dr. Brown); and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr. Szklo).
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  • Kelly J. Hunt PhD,

    1. From the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ms. Carson and Drs. Rose, Ephross, and Stang); the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Ms. Sanford); GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr. Ephross); Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, Pa (Dr. Stang); the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr. Hunt); the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Dr. Brown); and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr. Szklo).
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  • C. Andrew Brown MD, MPH,

    1. From the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ms. Carson and Drs. Rose, Ephross, and Stang); the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Ms. Sanford); GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr. Ephross); Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, Pa (Dr. Stang); the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr. Hunt); the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Dr. Brown); and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr. Szklo).
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  • Moyses Szklo MD, DrPH

    1. From the Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ms. Carson and Drs. Rose, Ephross, and Stang); the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Ms. Sanford); GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (Dr. Ephross); Galt Associates, Inc, Blue Bell, Pa (Dr. Stang); the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Tex (Dr. Hunt); the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Dr. Brown); and the Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr. Szklo).
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  • Presented in part at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, Chicago, Ill, June 24-26, 1998.

Address all correspondence to Dr. Kathryn M. Rose, Bank of America Center, Suite 306, 137 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

Abstract

Objective.—To evaluate the lifetime prevalence of migraine and other headaches lasting 4 or more hours in a population-based study of older adults.

Background.—Migraine and other headaches not fulfilling migraine criteria are common afflictions. Yet the health and social effects of these conditions have not been fully appreciated, particularly among older adults.

Methods.—The study included 12 750 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study from 4 US communities. Prevalence estimates of a lifetime history of migraine and other headaches lasting 4 or more hours were obtained for race and gender groups. A cross-sectional analysis was done to assess the relationship between headache type, by aura status, and various sociodemographic and health-related indices.

Results.—Compared to education beyond high school, having completed less than 12 years of education was significantly associated with an increased occurrence of migraine with aura (prevalence odds ratio [POR], 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08 to 2.01). Family income less than $16 000, compared to family income of $75 000 or greater, was significantly associated with migraine with aura (POR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.07 to 2.64), migraine without aura (POR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.14), and other headaches with aura (POR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.14 to 3.13). The prevalence odds ratio was higher in each headache category, particularly for those with an aura, for those with hypertension versus normotension and for those who perceived their general health as poor compared to those whose perception was excellent.

Conclusions.—A lifetime history of migraine with aura and other headaches with aura was more common among whites, women, and younger participants. Further investigation of headaches lasting 4 or more hours, particularly by aura status, is warranted.

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