Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of primary headaches in adolescent population: is there a relationship with the way of life?


The headache in the adolescent population is one of the most common conditions that doctors deal with. It is an important source of disability with several health-related considerations. The aim of the study was to investigate the frequency, as well as different epidemiological and clinical characteristics, of primary headaches in adolescents. An epidemiological study was conducted on 1800 adolescents of both sexes based on a questionnaire consisting of 65 questions referring to sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of headaches. Based on the questionnaire information, the examinees were divided into four groups: adolescents with migraine, tension-type and mixed headache and the fourth group were examinees without headaches. The information was statistically processed and the level of significance < 0.05 is considered statistically significant. Out of 1800 respondents, 1160 subjects were those with headache (64.4%) and 640 subjects were without headache (35.6%). The most common primary headache is tension-type headache. The majority of subjects with tension-type headaches attend elementary school and with migraine and mixed headaches high school. There were significantly more headaches among adolescents who had their own computer and who spent more than 2 h using it. More frequent headaches were found in those who travel by public transport and spend more time on Facebook. Primary headaches in adolescent population occur frequently and despite numerous studies, they are still not taken seriously enough. It is necessary to educate parents, teachers and adolescents to avoid risk factors or at least reduce their impact.

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Correspondence to Darko Katalinic.

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All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (University Clinical Hospital Mostar) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants/parents included in the study.

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Mlinarevic-Polic, I., Kuzman, Z., Aleric, I. et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of primary headaches in adolescent population: is there a relationship with the way of life?. Acta Neurol Belg 121, 473–481 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13760-019-01220-5

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  • Headache
  • Adolescent population
  • Way of life