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Disability Associated with Headaches Occurring
Inside and Outside the Menstrual Period in those
with Migraine: A General Practice Study
Dowson, AJ; Kilminister SG, et al.
Posted: May 2005  
Headache 2005;45:274-282

Objectives:   This study investigated the disability of females who have migraine and other headache attacks occurring during and outside the menstrual period.

Methods:  One thousand four hundred and thirty-four of 3470 female patients aged 14 to 50 years registered at a UK general practice completed two questionnaires. The first questionnaire assessed the prevalence of headache, depression, and bodily pain in the total population. The second questionnaire assessed the disability of all headaches over a 2-month period (to capture a complete menstrual cycle) for patients reporting migraine who were still menstruating. Disability was assessed as the time lost and time spent at less than 50% productivity in normal activities due to headache.

Conclusions:   For those with migraine, migraine attacks that took place during the menstrual period tended to be slightly more disabling than those taking place outside the menstrual period, but the opposite was true for nonmigraine headaches.