Migraine Among Norwegian Neurologists

Authors

  • Karl B. Alstadhaug MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. From the Department of Neurology, Nordlandssykehuset Bodø, Norway (K.B. Alstadhaug); Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway (K.B. Alstadhaug); Department of Neurology, Innlandet Sykehus Lillehammer, Norway (A. Hernandez); Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, Norway (H. Næss); Norwegian National Headache Centre, Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway (L.J. Stovner).
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  • Antonio Hernandez MD,

    1. From the Department of Neurology, Nordlandssykehuset Bodø, Norway (K.B. Alstadhaug); Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway (K.B. Alstadhaug); Department of Neurology, Innlandet Sykehus Lillehammer, Norway (A. Hernandez); Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, Norway (H. Næss); Norwegian National Headache Centre, Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway (L.J. Stovner).
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  • Halvor Næss MD, PhD,

    1. From the Department of Neurology, Nordlandssykehuset Bodø, Norway (K.B. Alstadhaug); Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway (K.B. Alstadhaug); Department of Neurology, Innlandet Sykehus Lillehammer, Norway (A. Hernandez); Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, Norway (H. Næss); Norwegian National Headache Centre, Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway (L.J. Stovner).
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  • Lars Jacob Stovner MD, PhD

    1. From the Department of Neurology, Nordlandssykehuset Bodø, Norway (K.B. Alstadhaug); Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway (K.B. Alstadhaug); Department of Neurology, Innlandet Sykehus Lillehammer, Norway (A. Hernandez); Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, Norway (H. Næss); Norwegian National Headache Centre, Department of Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway (L.J. Stovner).
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  • Conflict of Interest: No conflict.

K.B. Alstadhaug, Department of Neurology Nordland Hospital, Trust, 8092 Bodø, Norway, email: karl.bjornar.alstadhaug@nlsh.no

Abstract

Background.— Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of migraine among neurologists. The main objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of migraine and its subtypes among neurologists in Norway.

Method.— Questionnaire-based cross-sectional study among every Norwegian neurologist registered on March 19, 2010.

Results.— Among the 384 neurologists, 245 (64%) participated. Of these, 95 (39%) reported having experienced migraine aura, and 86 having experienced migraine headache (35%). By employing the International Headache Society criteria for migraine with regard to the number of attacks, the gender-adjusted lifetime and 1-year prevalence was 38.7% (95% CI 30.3-47.7) and 33.8% (95% CI 25.9-47.2), respectively. Age-adjusted 1-year prevalence of migraine headache (not including subjects experiencing visual aura only) for men was 15.9% and for women 36.7%, which gives an overall age and gender-adjusted prevalence of 26.3% (95% CI 18.5-34.2). Solitary auras were experienced by 83 (34%), of which 73 (30%) had experienced this twice or more frequently. The majority of the neurologists thought that migraine was underdiagnosed and undertreated, 70% and 68%, respectively.

Conclusion.— The study confirms the results of previous studies, indicating that migraine, including visual aura, is more common among neurologists than what would be expected from population-based studies. Because this group, through professional experience with the condition, can make accurate diagnoses in themselves, and will have fewer problems with recalling headache episodes, the prevalence figures obtained may give the most precise estimate of the true population prevalence.

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