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Characteristics of the First 1000 Headaches in an Outpatient Headache Clinic Registry

Authors


  • Conflict of Interest: None

Á.L. Guerrero, Neurology Department, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Avda Ramón y Cajal 3, 47005 Valladolid, Spain.

Abstract

(Headache 2011;51:226-231)

Objective.— To analyze the incidence and characteristics of the first 1000 headaches in an outpatient clinic.

Background.— Headache is a common cause of medical consultation, both in primary care and in specialist neurology outpatient clinics. The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II), enables headaches to be classified in a precise and reproducible manner.

Methods.— In January 2008, an outpatient headache clinic was set up in Hospital Clínico Universitario, a tertiary hospital in Valladolid, Spain. Headaches were classified prospectively in accordance with ICHD-II criteria. In each case we recorded age and sex, duration of headache, ancillary tests required, and previous symptomatic or prophylactic therapies.

Results.— In January 2010, the registry included 1000 headaches in 682 patients. The women/men ratio was 2.46/1 and the mean age of the patients was 43.19 ± 17.1 years (range: 14-94 years). Patients were referred from primary care (53.4%), general neurology clinics (36.6%), and other specialist clinics (9%). The headaches were grouped (ICHD-II classification) as follows: group 1 (Migraine), 51.4%; group 2 (Tension-type headache), 16%; group 3 (Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias), 2.6%; group 4 (Other primary headaches) and group 13 (Cranial neuralgias), 3.4%. The diagnostic criteria of chronic migraine were satisfied in 8.5% of migraines. Regarding secondary headaches, 1.1% of all cases were included in group 5 (Headaches attributed to trauma) and 8.3% in group 8 (Headaches attributed to a substance or its withdrawal). Only 3.4% of headaches were classified in group 14 (Unspecified or not elsewhere classified), and 5.2% were included in the groups listed in the ICHD-II research appendix.

Conclusion.— This registry outlines the characteristics of patients seen in an outpatient headache clinic in a tertiary hospital; our results are similar to those previously reported for this type of outpatient clinic. Migraine was the most common diagnosis. Most headaches can be classified using ICHD-II criteria.

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