Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 529–536 | Cite as

Epidemiology of chronic daily headache

  • Julio Pascual
  • Rafael Colás
  • Jesús Castillo


Daily or near-daily headache is a widespread problem in clinical practice. The general term of chronic daily headache (CDH) encompasses those primary headaches presenting more than 15 days per month and lasting more than 4 hours per day. CDH includes transformed migraine (TM), chronic tension-type headache (CTTH), new daily persistent headache (NDPH), and hemicrania continua (HC). Around 40% of patients attending a specialized headache clinic meet CDH diagnostic criteria, of which 80% are women. In these clinics about 60% of patients suffer from TM, 20% from CTTH, and 20% meet NDPH criteria. Most, some 80%, overuse symptomatic medications. One should be very cautious on extrapolating these numbers to the general population. CDH prevalence in the general population seems to be around 4% to 5% (up to 8% to 9% for women). Regarding the prevalence of CDH subtypes, NDPH is rare (0.1%), whereas the prevalence of TM (1.5% to 2%) and CTTH (2.5% to 3%) is clearly higher. In contrast to data from specialized clinics, only around a quarter of CDH subjects in the general population overuse analgesics; the prevalence of CDH subjects with analgesic overuse being 1.1% to 1.9% of the general population. Most of these patients with analgesic overuse are TM patients.


Migraine Chronic Daily Headache International Headache Society Medication Overuse Paroxysmal Hemicrania 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julio Pascual
    • 1
  • Rafael Colás
    • 1
  • Jesús Castillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Service of NeurologyUniversity Hospital Marqués de ValdecillaSantanderSpain

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