Objective.— Smoking has been claimed to be more common in cluster headache (CH) sufferers than in nonaffected subjects. Other demographic information such as handedness, body mass index, eye color, education, occupation, and alcohol use has been described as being different in CH patients compared with a control population. The aim of this study was to get more detailed information in CH patients with a positive family history and their nonaffected relatives, assuming that there would be demographic differences between the groups.
Materials and methods.— Affected CH patients and nonaffected first- and second-degree relatives (n = 114) received a posted questionnaire. Information from 83 subjects (42 affected and 41 first- and/or second-degree relatives) from 23 families was received. P < .05 was chosen to be significant.
Results.— Parental cigarette smoking during childhood and adolescence of patients and controls and current or former smoking was significantly more common in CH patients. Frequent alcohol intake (2-3 times/week or more) was significantly more common in the affected group of CH patients. There were significant differences as regards the life history of head trauma, but some of the affected had had the trauma after the age of onset of CH. Interestingly, CH patients worked more full-time than nonaffected.
Conclusion.— Formerly described demographic relationships in CH regarding cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and head trauma were also seen in our CH patients and their nonaffected relatives. These findings might represent a gene environment interaction in affected CH patients or it could be personality-lifestyle-related phenomena or a combination of these mechanisms.