The epidemiology of headaches among patients with epilepsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.J Headache Pain 2020; 21(1):3JH
Headache is the symptom of pain in the face, head or neck that causes disability in most people with medical and neurological disorders. It frequently co-occurs with most chronic diseases such as epilepsy and significantly impacts the quality of life. However, epidemiologic data from different studies showed different rates of prevalence. Therefore, we conducted this review to summarize the available epidemiologic evidence on the topic and formulate recommendations for future research and clinical practice.
We followed the preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. We systematically searched the literature using popular databases such as PubMed, EMBASE, Psych-INFO, and SCOPUS. We further scanned the reference lists of the eligible studies to supplement our electronic search. The Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software version 3.0 (CMA 3.0) was used to conduct a meta-analysis. Subgroup and sensitivity analysis were performed and Cochran's Q- and the I2- test were used to assess the source of heterogeneity. The funnel plot and Egger's regression tests were used to assess potential publication bias.
A total of 17 studies conducted both in developed and developing countries including 5564 study participants were combined in this meta-analysis. The pooled estimated prevalence of headache among patients with epilepsy was 48.4%. The pooled estimated prevalence of Inter-Ictal headache (IIH) (42.2%) and Postictal headache (PIH) (43.1%) were higher when compared to tension-type headache (TTH) (26.2%), migraine with aura (26.0%) and migraine without aura (10.4%). The pooled prevalence of headache was 50.6% and 49.5% for developed and developing countries respectively. The pooled prevalence of headache among patients with epilepsy was considerably higher among females (63.0%) when compared to males (33.3%). Moreover, the pooled estimated prevalence of headache among patients with epilepsy was ranging from 46.0% to 52.2% in a leave-one-out sensitivity analysis.
The pooled estimated prevalence of headache among patients with epilepsy was considerably high (48.4%). Screening and appropriate management of headaches among patients with epilepsy are warranted.