Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 749–752 | Cite as

Headache in immigrant patients: similarities and differences with Italian population

  • Fabiola De Marchi
  • G. Tondo
  • D. Mittino
  • L. Bolamperti
  • C. Airoldi
  • C. Pizzamiglio
  • R. Cantello
Brief Communication


Headache is one of the most common neurological diseases. It is well known that there are differences in the perception and in the management of pain in various populations. Immigrants represent a growing portion between neurology outpatients. We analyzed the epidemiological characteristic of headache in immigrants come to our attention, in comparison with Italians. Data collected included age at immigration, age of onset of headache, headache’s type (HIS criteria), and psychiatric comorbidities. There were not substantial differences in the incidence of headache subtypes: migraine was the most frequent diagnosis in both groups, followed by tension-type headache. The incidence of depression was similar, while anxiety was significantly less frequent in immigrants. Studies on neurological diseases in immigrants are few. The data available seem to show no differences in the incidence, but rather in treatment. Our study confirms the evenness of two populations, local and foreign, afferent in a Headache Unit, according to the single similar study, except for anxiety, maybe related to language difficulties or cultural background.


Headache Migraine Immigrants Italian population 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyOriental Piedmont University, Maggiore della Carità HospitalNovaraItaly
  2. 2.Healthcare Research and PharmacoepidemiologyUniversità Milano BicoccaMilanItaly

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