Recurrent headaches in children: an epidemiological survey of two middle schools in inner city Chicago.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to longitudinally evaluate the epidemiological characteristics of headaches in a school-based, community setting and to determine the impact of headache symptoms on the health of children. METHODS: After institutional review board approval, a prospective cohort study was conducted at two Chicago public schools for a period of 6 months. Members of the research team surveyed both schools weekly for headache and other pain symptoms. The students rated each pain symptom on a 5-point scale from 0 ("not at all") to 4 ("a whole lot"). Demographic information was collected at the time of enrollment, and all participants were asked to complete age-appropriate and validated pediatric surveys to assess the severity of concurrent somatic complaints, anxiety symptoms, functional limitations, and quality of life issues. RESULTS: Of the participating children, 89.5% reported at least one headache during the study period. Females experienced more frequent headaches compared with males (P < 0.05). Children reporting headaches had a significantly increased risk of experiencing other troubling somatic symptoms (P < 0.05). Headache severity showed a moderate correlation with increased feelings of anxiety, functional disability, and a diminished quality of life (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: School-aged children commonly experience headaches. Children experiencing headaches are more likely to report other somatic symptoms, feelings of anxiety, functional limitations, and quality of life impairments.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Nyame, YA; Ambrosy, AP; Saps, M; Adams, PN; Dhroove, GN; Suresh, S

Published Date

  • May 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 214 - 221

PubMed ID

  • 20070550

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20070550

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-2500

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2009.00338.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States