[Prevalence of primary headaches in a rural population in Cuba].Rev Neurol. 2009 Aug 1-15; 49(3):131-5.RN
To determine the prevalence and the clinical-epidemiological and therapeutic characteristics of primary headaches in a rural population in Cuba.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a rural population of the Policlinica Mabay in the province of Granma, Cuba. The second International Headache Society classification was used. Sample size, which was calculated by means of the program EpiInfo 2002, was 360 adult workers over 18 years of age, who were selected by simple random sampling.
The prevalence of primary headaches was 44.72%. There was a predominance of females (71.4%). 31.1% of cases were between 50 and 59 years old. 36.6% had a family history of headaches. Onset of headaches occurred before the age of 15 years in 44.1% of patients. The most frequent location was occipital (45.3% of cases). The most frequent precipitating factors were stress (27.9%) and menstruation (27.3%). The predominant accompanying symptom was dizziness (26.1%). Tension-type headache was the most prevalent, with 92 patients (25.56%), followed by migraine, with 61 diagnoses (16.94%). 78.3% of the patients with tension-type headache and 70.5% of those with migraine tried self-medication with dipyrone and paracetamol. Patients with migraine made more frequent use of prophylactic treatment than those who suffered from tension-type headache (32.8% versus 16.3%; p = 0.01).
The prevalence of primary headaches is high in the rural population under study; the high rate of prescription drug abuse (mainly painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) has led to a significant number of headaches becoming chronic. This health problem is also seen to have an important effect on occupational affairs.