Basic Summary for Headache


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Main name of condition: Headache
Other names or spellings: cephalalgia


What is Headache?
  Brief description of Headache: Any type of ache of the head, upper face, scalp, or brain areas.
  Parent types of Headache: Pain, Head Conditions
  Organs Affected by Headache: head
  Types of Headache: Common Headache, Migraine, Sexual headache, Cluster headache, Tension headache, Chronic headache, Vascular headaches, Muscle contraction headaches, Traction headaches, Infection headaches, Exertional headaches, Helmet headache, Post-traumatic headache
How many people get Headache?
  Prevalance of Headache: 45 million Americans get chronic headaches. 20 million American women (NWHIC).
  Prevalance Rate of Headache: approx 1 in 6 or 16.54% or 45 million people in USA [about data]
How serious is Headache?
  Prognosis of Headache: Depends on subtype and cause of headache; common headache usually harmless.
  Prognosis of Headache: About 90 percent of chronic headache patients can be helped. 1
  Complications of Headache: see complications of Headache
What causes Headache?
  Causes of Headache: see causes of Headache
  Risk factors for Headache: see risk factors for Headache
How is it treated?
  Specialists for Headache: Internist, Neurologist, Psychologist
  Treatments for Headache: see treatments for Headache
  Research for Headache: see research for Headache
Society issues for Headache
  Hospitalization statistics for Headache: The following are statistics from various sources about hospitalizations and Headache:
  • 0.3% (37,798) of hospital consultant episodes were for headache in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 86% of hospital consultant episodes for headache required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 39% of hospital consultant episodes for headache were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 61% of hospital consultant episodes for headache were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 83% of hospital consultant episodes for headache required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 2.6 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for headache in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 1 days was the median length of stay in hospitals for headache in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 41 was the mean age of patients hospitalised for headache in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 70% of hospital consultant episodes for headache occurred in 15-59 year olds in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 8% of hospital consultant episodes for headache occurred in people over 75 in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 7% of hospital consultant episodes for headache were single day episodes in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 0.15% (78,435) of hospital bed days were for headache in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)

  Physician office visits for Headache: 9,876,000 people visited a physician’s office for headaches in the US 2001 (National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2001)
  Physician office visits for Headache: headache sufferers make over 8 million visits a year to doctor's offices.2

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from NINDS Headache Information Page: NINDS
2. excerpt from Headache - Hope Through Research: NINDS

Last revision: Nov 3, 2003

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