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Chronic Daily Headache in Children and Adolescents
Wiendels NJ, van der Geest CM, et al.
Posted: July 2005  
Headache 2005; 45:678-683

Objective:   To describe the clinical features of children with chronic daily headache (CDH) and examine the usefulness of the International Classification of Headache Disorders.

Background:   Few data are available on chronic daily headache and analgesic overuse in children and adolescents and there are no specific criteria for headache in children.

Results:   We reviewed all charts of 79 children and adolescents with headache. Fifty-seven children had chronic daily headache for more than 6 months, with a duration of more than 4 hours a day in 60% of them. Quality, severity, and location of pain varied. Sixty patients used analgesics, 10 patients more than one type. Thirteen patients used analgesics daily. In one-third of patients, headache led to frequent school absenteeism and sleeping problems. Twenty-eight patients could be classified, 17 patients as chronic tension-type headache, 5 patients as chronic migraine, and 6 patients as probable medication overuse headache. Fifteen patients did not fit into any category and 36 could not be classified due to insufficient data.

Conclusions:   Chronic daily headache in children is a serious disorder. A relatively large number of patients overuse medication and it leads to frequent school absenteeism and sleeping problems. It remains difficult to classify their headaches with the new criteria for headache disorders.