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Headache Syndrome Amongst Schoolchildren in
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
M. Al Jumah, MD; A. Awada, MD; S. Al Azzam, MD
Posted July 2002
Headache 2002; 42:281

We evaluated 1400 randomly selected Saudi children in grades 1 through 9 to determine the prevalence of migraine and tension-type headache.

Of the 1400 distributed questionnaires, 1181 (84.3%) were completed properly and so served as the basis for analysis. There were 573 boys (48.5%) and 608 girls (51.5%). Ages ranged from 6 to 18 years. Five hundred eighty-eight children (49.8%; 272 boys and 316 girls) had recurrent headache episodes not related to febrile illness in the year preceding the survey. Eighty-four children (7.1%; 37 boys and 47 girls) had recurrent episodes of migraine, and 504 (42.7%; 232 boys and 272 girls) had recurrent episodes of nonmigraine headache. For both boys and girls, the age-specific prevalence rate for nonmigraine headache rose steadily from around 15% at aged 6 to 7 years to nearly 60% after aged 15. For migraine, there was a sharp increase in the prevalence rate (from around 2% to around 9%) at aged 10 to 11, also in both boys and girls. Age-adjusted prevalnce for migraine between aged 6 and 15 was 6.2%. Due to the relatively poor sensitivity of some of the IHS criteria in children, this figure may underestimate the true magnitude of migraine in the population studied.