Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 5, Supplement 1, pp 1–5

Epidemiological classification and social impact of chronic headache

Symposium: Chronicisation of Headaches. Natural Evolution, Drugs Dependence and Rehabilitation

DOI: 10.1007/s11739-010-0444-z

Cite this article as:
Manzoni, G.C. & Torelli, P. Intern Emerg Med (2010) 5(Suppl 1): 1. doi:10.1007/s11739-010-0444-z


The current prevalent opinion is that a diagnosis of chronic headache should be established in patients who have had a form of primary headache other than cluster headache on at least 15 days a month for at least 3 months. Chronic headache so defined includes four different subtypes: hemicrania continua and new daily persistent headache—two rare forms currently included in the group “Other primary headaches” of the 2004 International Classification of Headache Disorders, second edition (ICHD-II)—chronic tension-type headache, and chronic migraine. Regarding the latter, which has been better known lately as transformed migraine, the current revised diagnostic criteria establish that migraine must be present on at least 8 of the at least 15 days of headache per month and that there must not be any overuse of symptomatic medication. Chronic headache affects about 3–5% of the general population and results in a variety of negative repercussions both on individuals and on society at large.


Chronic headache Headache Migraine Chronic migraine 

Copyright information

© SIMI 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Headache Centre, Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

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